Windsor Star

Sutton Creek golf course denies it is in receiversh­ip

- DAVE HALL

The owner of Sutton Creek Golf and Country Club, which celebrated its 20th anniversar­y this season, denied rumours Thursday that the club has gone into receiversh­ip.

Debbie Aliberti, who is also the club’s general manager according to the club’s website, declined to comment further before hanging up.

But there seems little doubt that the club, like many across the golf industry, is going through financial difficulti­es in the wake of a recession which hit the entertainm­ent industry hard.

In a message to members on the club’s website posted in October, Aliberti said: “We have received some questions from members regarding the sale and/or financial position of the club.

“As you know, we approached members about partial ownership earlier in the year but that has been put to rest,” said Aliberti in the notice. “We have been approached by different parties interested in purchasing the club because of the rumours circulatin­g but it has gone no further than that.”

Aliberti added that “like most clubs in the area we are struggling financiall­y and will for the next couple of years. In the meantime, we are keeping our expenses in check and really trying to increase our revenues.”

In an attempt to increase membership­s earlier this year, Sutton Creek reduced its initiation fee from $15,000 to $2,000 during a promotiona­l period.

It recently announced its 2011 membership fees, ranging from $295 for a junior to $1,695 for a full membership.

Aliberti said on the website that the club had sold four family membership­s and received more than 50 requests for informatio­n from members of other area clubs since announcing its pricing structure.

Since opening 20 years ago, Sutton Creek has built a solid reputation and is ranked as “an excellent local golf course,” by Score Golf. Earlier this year, it hosted many of Canada’s top juniors in the CN Future Links golf championsh­ips.

On Thursday, the clubhouse was closed but a message on the club’s answering machine indicated it was still accepting tee-off times until Sunday.

In May, Tony Griffi returned to the club as general manager after an eight-year absence. Brought back to increase membership numbers, Griffi said at the time his main focus “is to return Sutton Creek to a fun, down-toearth private country club and to fill its membership.”

Griffi, who left Sutton Creek less than a month later, declined to comment when contacted Thursday.

 ?? DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star ?? The Sutton Creek Golf and Country Club in Essex has denied rumours
that it is going into receiversh­ip.
DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star The Sutton Creek Golf and Country Club in Essex has denied rumours that it is going into receiversh­ip.

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