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Sunset Whitney goes up for auction

Country club’s future in the rough
By: Lauren Weber, The Placer Herald
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The fate of Rocklin’s Sunset Whitney Country Club is unknown. The 18-hole, 6,600-yard golf course was scheduled to go up for auction at 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to Mike Huetter, the general manager of Sunset Whitney Country Club. “It’s just kind of the end of a long road,” he said. “We’re faced with it right now. It’s just something that needs to happen before this place gets good again.” Huetter said the owner before the auction was developer Thomas Holdings, LLC of Sacramento who bought the facility at the height of the market. Faced with a large mortgage, the company struggled to keep up with payments. In January, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Golf courses across the state have struggled with memberships and keeping their doors open. According to National Golf Foundation statistics, there were 16,052 golf facilities in 2000 and in 2008, that number dropped to 15,979. But Sunset Whitney has been a part of Rocklin’s community for decades. With its opening in 1963 came Rocklin’s first golf course. Ever since its beginning, the course struggled with declining home values and never fulfilled the original owner’s dream of completing a 25-year plan to develop an upscale residential and recreational community, according to Sunset Whitney Country Club’s Web site. But Huetter said part of the current position of the course is due to today’s struggling economy. “It’s just the fact that the economy has changed,” he said. Huetter said the course will operate as business as usual until the result of auction is finalized.