Somersett and Golf – a 10 Year Story

The following article posted by Geoffrey Brooks  –  Somersett Homwowner

A decade ago, Blake Smith creator of Somersett, had 220 acres of land carved out of the PUD and had Tom Kite build a Championship Golf Course, the Somersett Country Club (SGC).

There was no club house, but equity memberships were sold with the understanding that the membership fees, which reached a high of $42K, would be used to build a fancy club house. Once 360 memberships had been sold, all real property and club facilities would be turned over to the members.  Members were happy to pay $425/month for exclusivity and championship golf experience par excellence!

In 2008 the evil, greedy bankers and hedge fund managers found a way to “take” all of our money, which caused the Great Recession of 2008-09. To pay for their excesses, ordinary people had their homes confiscated, property values in Somersett plunged to 40% of 2007 levels…nearly 2000 properties were affected, lives destroyed, savings lost…the future went down the toilet. ………

Read Mr. Brooks entire article by clicking on:   Somersett and Golf

4 thoughts on “Somersett and Golf – a 10 Year Story

  1. Geoffrey Brooks has obviously been in Somersett a lot longer than I to have all this history. Geoffrey and I totally agree that golf has been declining in the past decade. What we do not agree on is the deal between the golf course and the HOA and Developer. If you believe that golf is declining, someday our private golf course may not exist. If you vote Yes for this deal, we, Somersett homeowners, will control what happens to the 220 acres and the water rights. If you vote no, then the Developer will decide what happens. He could sell the water rights and walk away.

    Geoffrey believes this deal is about the golf course. I believe this deal is about us homeowners being in control.

  2. Hi Mike

    I just don’t believe that the Homeowners Association should act like a developer and buy things – like private golf courses.

    When we moved here in 2005/6, Ryder Homes told me that paying for (or joining) a private golf club which was outside our PUD (and HOA) was optional, NOT mandatory.

    In 2012 the Developer Board made me pay for access to a private club. Ryder had told me that this would never happen!

    We had actually joined the private country club as a social member in 2011 ($25/month) on a voluntary basis. Our dislike of being forced to pay for things which we do not want to pay for on an involuntary basis, means that I really resent the fact that I have to “buy” something I don’t want. We don’t believe that a HOA has the right to change our rules to make us do so.

    If the private club (SGCC) were to seek monies to fund improving their facilities from golfers, residents and private interested parties on a voluntary basis, I would actually be happy to contribute to the cause. I do not like being made to contribute!! I believe in altruism towards our community, but I do not like to force anyone, or be forced, to contribute..

    Residents who don’t want to contribute to the “purchase/funding a private country club” should be allowed to opt out…they should not have some of their monthly dues given away – our reserves are still under-funded to the tune of a $1,000,000.

    A PUD like Somersett, until it is actually completed, is ultimately the responsibility of the developers. We still have 1000 + houses to go. No active developer (e.g. Ryder, Toll, Lennar) will allow the private golf club and Championship Golf Course to GO BROWN, as it will reduce the profitability of their future sales. The HOA documents say that the golf courses may fail – Northgate has – and its failure does not seem to impact on the resale values of the houses near and overlooking the soon to be Sierra Sage Park!

    HOA’s should only control the existing amenities, ensure that homeowners maintain their properties,and that Somersett Parkway and surrounding streets are kept in pristine condition!
    Homeowner associations are not developers!


  3. Golf Demographic Stats:

    10% are golfers? That’s 29,000,000 golfers. That’s more than 10,000 golfers per house in Somersett. I find that encouraging!

    As a non-golfing couch potato, if the SOA/SGCC vote doesn’t pass, I’ll probably spend the $9/month savings in my Homeowner dues on some premium TV channels.

    So, which do you want drawn to Somersett? More couch potatoes like me? Or more of the 29,000,000 golfers out there? (If I were you, I’d vote for the golfers …)

  4. Jim

    There is a recent posting on MSNBC saying that golf has declined from 30,000,000 players in 2006 to under 25,000,000 players in 2013 – and the US population as a whole is going up. The demographics are not good for finding new golfers – younger people don’t have time. Older people, such as yourself are apparently are non-players, or just don’t have time to play a Championship Golf Course. Once you get your $12 a month dues reduction, you will be able to upgrade your TV to include MSNBC, and be well-informed as you relax!

    I believe most moved to Somersett for the natural beauty of the high desert, nestling between the Carson Range, Mount Peavine, Verdi and Crystal Peak. The views are awe inspiring, especially when they are tinged with beautiful fresh snow.

    Driving along the Somersett Parkway with its verdant look, trees, shrubs makes for an enticing ambience to be enjoyed by all – it is a pity that the HOA have not yet repaired all the recent storm damage. I guess that buying things and forcing residents to pay for things they may not need is a greater priority! The CCR’s actually seem to prevent the HOA from acting like a developer.

    Maybe we need to ask the devleopers (Toll, Ryder, Lennar, NV N. Homes, Pulte, etc.) with skin in the Somersett game, to put their green on the table to entice some of the 29,000,000 golfers (or 25 million) to buy in Somersett. They have a 1000 houses to build…and sell…however, I suspect their demographic studies and profitability depends on non-golfers buying their product. I wonder what potential buyers will say when told by a realtor that you will be an owner of a Championship Golf Course, but not only do you have to pay monthly for that privilege, you still are not really allowed to use it – the days when golf was an option have been taken away by the master developer and the current HOA Board

    Simplistically, if you want to play golf, you should pay for it yourself – forcing recalcitrant residents to pay for a private club…buying a Golf Course for the few by the many; that is just not American.

    Fixed income retirees living in our community certainly don’t want their HOA to behave like a developer, to further enrich the builders. They want the HOA run well and economically. They want the HOA to ensure that the master developer puts back the $1,000,000 + into our reserves. Voting Yes will prevent this from happening. I believe that they want the freedom to spend their money (if the Great Recession has not taken it all) on things they want – such as enhanced TV!

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