Fort Bend Country Club closing after 69 years

RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- The Fort Bend Country Club announced it will be closing its doors after 69 years of operation.

"We literally, we cried," said avid golfer Kay Beard. "It was heart wrenching. I personally didn't think it would close early. I kept telling them, 'We are going to get another year.'"

In a newsletter posted on the golf club's website, the severe weather that hit Fort Bend County on May 7 served as a reminder for the club's owners that it was time for additional water detention capabilities.

"Discussion of the matter was already buzzing around town and the rain was just one more tap on the shoulder," read the newsletter posted on May 24.

The golf club was purchased by a housing developer a couple years ago, and the group is now building homes to the east of the golf course at the Veranda.

The plan was to give golfers another year and a half to enjoy the course.

Instead, the developer, Johnson Development Corp., announced the final round will be this month.

By closing early, the developer plans to pay memberships to golfers, and offer compensation for the course closing early.

Johnson Development Corp. sent ABC13 Eyewitness News the following statement:

"After Hurricane Harvey caused widespread flooding in the region, Fort Bend County and the development community have been working to improve drainage and detention in the area. With that need in mind, ever since we purchased the Fort Bend Country Club property back in 2017, we have always intended on providing a significant amount of detention volume within the boundaries of the country club property that is naturally low and adjacent to Rabbs Bayou."

Despite this, some members can't believe the course is closing early.

"Everybody was shocked," said club member George Lising. "All the members, including myself, were shocked they were going to close June 30, effective July first, no one is able to play here."

The club's final day of business will be June 30, and the golf course will remain fully operational until that day.

The developer says it was a fire in the club's kitchen earlier this month that did play a role.

According to the newsletter, a commercial ice maker in the kitchen caught on fire.

"Sadly, the ice maker contained so much plastic that burned and produced oily soot which settled throughout the entire 15,000 square foot building, especially in the kitchen," read the letter.

If you're looking to enjoy a Fort Bend Country Club round, the public can only play until June 15th.

This course opened in the 1950's, and among its founders was the late Richmond Mayor Hilmar Moore.

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