Southside golf course tees off on back nine

Hole #18 – this is currently #2, but will become #18 once the new nine is built. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Hole #18 – this is currently #2, but will become #18 once the new nine is built. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Construction is in full swing on the final nine holes of a stalled Chesterfield County golf course.

More than $7 million is being spent to complete Westham Golf Club, a semi-private course built as the centerpiece of the once struggling Magnolia Green residential development off Hull Street Road.

Westham’s owners pulled the trigger on construction in recent weeks.

“We’re cranking out here,” said Tom Page, vice president of land for iStar Financial, the $7 billion New York REIT that owns the course and the neighborhood’s surrounding 1,900 acres.

Crews are cutting through the landscape and shaping new holes on the 260-acre course. There are additional plans for a clubhouse, a driving range and other amenities with a total price tag of about $7.5 million.

“Anything that’s half finished is not a good thing,” Page said. “I told them ‘Let’s finish the golf course.’ ”

iStar is spending about $2.8 million to finish the course itself. Plans for a $3 million clubhouse are also in the works, Page said. It has another $1.2 million slated for a 3,800-square-foot welcome center that will begin construction at Magnolia Green’s entrance on Hull Street Road in a few weeks.

Westham #8 – this is hole #8 under construction. The future green is marked by the white pole. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Westham #8 – this is hole #8 under construction. The future green is marked by the white pole. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Construction of the new holes should be completed by late summer. The arduous process of getting the grass ready for play should be done just in time for spring 2015, Page said.

The sounds of construction are music to the ears of Westham General Manager Bobby Kidder, who for the past few years has been trying to drive revenue at a course with only nine holes.

“It shows confidence,” Kidder said of the work the underway.

While it had 15,000 rounds played last year, it’s tough for a nine-hole course to compete in the crowded Chesterfield golf scene, he said.

“[Players] want to play 18 holes,” Kidder said, adding that

Westham currently has 74 members. Adding the new nine has Kidder confident he can get that number up to 250 or 300.

The construction will come with a reordering of some of Westham’s current holes. The holes being built will become the front nine. What’s now the second hole will be 18th hole. The current first hole will become the 17th.

Tennessee-based Sanders Golf is handling construction of the new holes.

Nicklaus Design is one of the architects, as it was on the initial nine holes. Ault, Clark & Associates is also an architect on the job.

Westham is run by Billy Casper Golf, a course-management firm out of Northern Virginia.

The action at Magnolia Green extends well beyond the fairway.

Barely 100 homes dotted its streets when iStar took control of the entire development through foreclosure in 2009. Today, more than 400 homes are occupied in the neighborhood and it’s adding about 100 each year, Page said. A total of 123 homes were sold in Magnolia Green last year, he said.

Westham towhouses – a new phase of townhouses being built in Magnolia Green by HHHunt. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Wynstone Park – a new phase of townhouses being built in Magnolia Green by HHHunt. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

A handful of builders, including HHHunt, Ryan Homes, Eastwood Homes, Craftmaster Homes and Royal Dominion Homes, are working on lots in the neighborhood’s first phase. A high-end custom section called Veranda Oaks is also going up.

Next to what is now Westham’s temporary clubhouse, HHHunt has the first section of a 162-townhome development under construction. Its first phase will have 49 units.

A long-term plan designed in three phases, iStar has plenty of room to play with at Magnolia Green.

Its 1,900 acres are zoned for 3,500 housing units. Another 200 acres are set aside for commercial development fronting Hull Street Road. That section is likely three to five years out, Page said.

It has 28 acres for a planned park and 25 acres for an elementary school to be eventually built by the county.

The neighborhood’s first phase has 27 acres for apartments set aside. Another 107-or so acres have been tagged for future multifamily development.

Hole #18 – this is currently #2, but will become #18 once the new nine is built. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Hole #18 – this is currently #2, but will become #18 once the new nine is built. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Construction is in full swing on the final nine holes of a stalled Chesterfield County golf course.

More than $7 million is being spent to complete Westham Golf Club, a semi-private course built as the centerpiece of the once struggling Magnolia Green residential development off Hull Street Road.

Westham’s owners pulled the trigger on construction in recent weeks.

“We’re cranking out here,” said Tom Page, vice president of land for iStar Financial, the $7 billion New York REIT that owns the course and the neighborhood’s surrounding 1,900 acres.

Crews are cutting through the landscape and shaping new holes on the 260-acre course. There are additional plans for a clubhouse, a driving range and other amenities with a total price tag of about $7.5 million.

“Anything that’s half finished is not a good thing,” Page said. “I told them ‘Let’s finish the golf course.’ ”

iStar is spending about $2.8 million to finish the course itself. Plans for a $3 million clubhouse are also in the works, Page said. It has another $1.2 million slated for a 3,800-square-foot welcome center that will begin construction at Magnolia Green’s entrance on Hull Street Road in a few weeks.

Westham #8 – this is hole #8 under construction. The future green is marked by the white pole. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Westham #8 – this is hole #8 under construction. The future green is marked by the white pole. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Construction of the new holes should be completed by late summer. The arduous process of getting the grass ready for play should be done just in time for spring 2015, Page said.

The sounds of construction are music to the ears of Westham General Manager Bobby Kidder, who for the past few years has been trying to drive revenue at a course with only nine holes.

“It shows confidence,” Kidder said of the work the underway.

While it had 15,000 rounds played last year, it’s tough for a nine-hole course to compete in the crowded Chesterfield golf scene, he said.

“[Players] want to play 18 holes,” Kidder said, adding that

Westham currently has 74 members. Adding the new nine has Kidder confident he can get that number up to 250 or 300.

The construction will come with a reordering of some of Westham’s current holes. The holes being built will become the front nine. What’s now the second hole will be 18th hole. The current first hole will become the 17th.

Tennessee-based Sanders Golf is handling construction of the new holes.

Nicklaus Design is one of the architects, as it was on the initial nine holes. Ault, Clark & Associates is also an architect on the job.

Westham is run by Billy Casper Golf, a course-management firm out of Northern Virginia.

The action at Magnolia Green extends well beyond the fairway.

Barely 100 homes dotted its streets when iStar took control of the entire development through foreclosure in 2009. Today, more than 400 homes are occupied in the neighborhood and it’s adding about 100 each year, Page said. A total of 123 homes were sold in Magnolia Green last year, he said.

Westham towhouses – a new phase of townhouses being built in Magnolia Green by HHHunt. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

Wynstone Park – a new phase of townhouses being built in Magnolia Green by HHHunt. (Photo by Michael Schwartz.)

A handful of builders, including HHHunt, Ryan Homes, Eastwood Homes, Craftmaster Homes and Royal Dominion Homes, are working on lots in the neighborhood’s first phase. A high-end custom section called Veranda Oaks is also going up.

Next to what is now Westham’s temporary clubhouse, HHHunt has the first section of a 162-townhome development under construction. Its first phase will have 49 units.

A long-term plan designed in three phases, iStar has plenty of room to play with at Magnolia Green.

Its 1,900 acres are zoned for 3,500 housing units. Another 200 acres are set aside for commercial development fronting Hull Street Road. That section is likely three to five years out, Page said.

It has 28 acres for a planned park and 25 acres for an elementary school to be eventually built by the county.

The neighborhood’s first phase has 27 acres for apartments set aside. Another 107-or so acres have been tagged for future multifamily development.

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Chris Terrell
Chris Terrell
8 years ago

From 74 to 300 members just by completing the second nine (and no clubhouse or driving range yet)??? Boy, does that seem like wishful thinking to me. Anyone who has kept a finger on the pulse of private golf clubs in Chesterfield knows we aren’t in a boom market, so 226 new members really feels like a stretch. Many clubs have been treading water for years, I simply don’t understand the logic behind that projection aside from the fact that the course will be new (and new isn’t necessarily better, established has some institutional advantages). Good luck to Westham all… Read more »

michael kane
michael kane
8 years ago

Where are all the jobs with good careers coming from for people to afford to live here??????

Chris Terrell
Chris Terrell
8 years ago
Reply to  michael kane

It’s more than just jobs Michael. A full membership at a country club is about a 6-10K annual commitment (after initiation) depending on where you play and how heavily you use the club. A potential member has to have the means, the time, and the love of the game. Finding that individual is a trick, if you don’t have all three you don’t have a long term member. I’ve served on a few membership committees, finding good members is a challenge today. A couple of hundred aren’t just waiting in the woodwork for a new course to open, there are… Read more »

Danny DeBoer
Danny DeBoer
8 years ago

Where off of Hull street is it located? 25-300 member pretty ambitious; good luck

D Bailey
D Bailey
8 years ago

The project has been slow but it is a great course with excellent greens that can be challenging.

The housing development has taken off and unlike the Federal Club community the prices are still very reasonable for well maintained course; it has great potential.

Although I have to pass other courses that are closer to home; my golfing buddies and I make a point to play several times a year.

Golfing has never been cheap and memberships are reasonable if you have the time.