FISHERS, Ind. – A group of Fishers homeowners are in another battle to keep the golf course their homes were built on. Just last year, the same families fought to stop a local church from expanding on their land. They got past that, but now there's a new hurdle to get over.
The owners of Gray Eagle Golf Course announced they plan to shut down the 18-hole course, driving range, and putting greens at the end of next year. Many people we talked to say the golf course was the selling point when they bought their homes. And now they will do whatever it takes to keep it there.
Suzie Willard and her family built their home on the first and ninth hole 15 years ago. Peaceful with a nice view. Now, after learning the golf course owners plan to shut down, they have no idea who or what could end up here.
"A lot of us are devastated with this news. We really enjoy the golf course and want to see it succeed so we don't want to see this close or go under or be developed into something else," Willard said.
Developer Mark Thompson told our partners at the Indy Star a trend of decreased or stagnant golf participation over eight years has sliced revenues at courses and made them too risky to keep open. A recent study by the National Golf Foundation shows a 1.2 percent decline in on course participation nationwide while overall participation is up thanks to indoor facilities like Top Golf. But these families say they paid for this view as their backyard.
"So the fact that this zoning is now going to be challenged in the future again that's disheartening and it feel that it's just a betrayal of what coming in here and buying our homes what we spent our money on that it's going to be taken away to have another profit put on top of it by another company," Willard said.
Willard says her family paid a $20,000 premium. Now the people who occupy more than 300 homes in this subdivision will have to wait to see who their new neighbors will be.
"Is it going to be trails, is it going to be a brand new neighborhood, is it going to be commercial property like is there going to be a dry cleaner and a strip mall behind us?" Courtney Trotter asked.
But Courtney says the Trotter family plans to stay put.
"We love our home, we love our neighbors, we love the schools they're right around the corner. No, we're not going to be moving or going anywhere," Trotter said.
The land is currently zoned as a golf course. There’s no word on potential buyers or interest. Anything besides a golf course would need to go through the rezoning process.