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ORANGE COUNTY DIGEST

San Clemente : Developer Drops Offer of Land for Golf Course

July 13, 1986|Bob Schwartz

A development firm has withdrawn its offer to donate more than 200 acres of land for the city to build a new public golf course, instead hiring a Florida firm to build the course.

The Costa Mesa-based WSLA Development Corp. offered the city the land--part of the company's 2,000-acre Rancho San Clemente planned community--earlier this year under the condition that the city build and maintain a new golf course, which would be open to the public but which would have some starting times reserved for guests of a planned resort hotel to be built next to the course.

But Thursday, WSLA announced that it had hired Player-Litten Golf Course Design of Boca Raton to design and oversee the construction of a 27-hole course on the site. Former South African golf professional Gary Player would design the course, Rancho San Clemente project manager David Christian said.

San Clemente has been searching for years for a site to build a second municipal golf course to accommodate the unmet demand for starting times at its course near Camp Pendleton. The Marine Corps earlier this year rejected the city's bid to build a second course near the base, just south of the city.

City Manager James B. Hendrickson said he did not see a second municipal course being built in San Clemente "for the foreseeable future." The public-private partnership did not work out, he said, "because the city's processes are too slow. They (WSLA) wanted to get some momentum . . . and market their business property and resort hotel."

Christian said WSLA will conduct a marketing study to determine whether the course should be a private, country club course, a public course or a combination of the two. The course could be ready for play in the spring of next year, he said.

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