Private golf course in Nacogdoches researching ways to stay open - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Private golf course in Nacogdoches researching ways to stay open

Woodland Hills Golf Course owner Douglas Ditin decided not to buy Piney Woods Country Club after leasing it for a month. (Source: KTRE Staff) Woodland Hills Golf Course owner Douglas Ditin decided not to buy Piney Woods Country Club after leasing it for a month. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Piney Woods Country Club president Sid Abernathy says private country clubs are a dying breed. (Source: KTRE Staff) Piney Woods Country Club president Sid Abernathy says private country clubs are a dying breed. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Piney Woods Country Club has been a private club since 1926. (Source: KTRE Staff) Piney Woods Country Club has been a private club since 1926. (Source: KTRE Staff)
A member of the East Texas Senior Golf Club has seen other private clubs close creating farther drives to courses. (Source: KTRE Staff) A member of the East Texas Senior Golf Club has seen other private clubs close creating farther drives to courses. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

 It's National Golfing Day, but hundreds of golf courses aren’t celebrating. 

The Piney Woods Country Club in Nacogdoches is a private golf course. They had all negotiations to sell cut off by a prospective buyer. 

East Texas News learned the struggles for private golf courses are not isolated to Nacogdoches.
Piney Woods Country Club has a rich history that comes with hundreds of stories and a few holes in one.

It's happening less and less. Piney Woods Country Club, established back in 1926 when country clubs were very much a sign of prestige, is today struggling to keep the doors open. 

“They're a dying breed. The only clubs making it are the very exclusive clubs,” said Sid Abernathy, the president of the PWC Board of Directors. “The local country clubs, private clubs, are having a hard time."

According to Bloomberg, 800 golf courses nationwide closed in the last decade. 

Nevertheless, Douglas Datin, the owner of the public Woodland Hills golf course was ready to buy the course next door. That is until after a month's lease showed him it didn't make the financial sense he needed. 

“Absolutely, I mean, you have to have revenue coming in,” Datin said. “It's the only way to make it work."

Datin said he's disappointed, but he couldn't risk what he had already built up at Woodlands. 

Vehicles line up at the public course. Datin said golfers shoot for getting a game in within three hours. The days of spending all day at the country club are over. 

"The younger generations are just doing other things now,” Abernathy said.

Members of the East Texas Senior Golf Club, which is based in Longview, hate to see as many as 26 golf courses in the Texas-Louisiana area closed up.

“It makes it difficult on us,” said Tom Bush, a golfer. “We have to drive further every time to find a good course. I hope these guys get to keep it open."

The property has a lot to offer.  There's a clubhouse, dining room, bar, and pool all available to the public.  

Stockholders, including Robert Stevens, are considering making all of Piney Woods public, ending the 92-year-old private charter.

"That is definitely a possibility,” Stevens said.

These patrons say they'll do all they can to keep the course they love open for all to enjoy. 

At its peak, Piney Woods Country Club at its peak had more than 300 members. Today, there are about 160 members and 65 stockholders. Stockholders are considering a rate reduction and increased advertising to help build membership.

For more information on the Piney Woods Country County, visit its webpage. The country club also has a Facebook page.

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