That's the news in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, which reports that the club will shut down by July.
Pharaohs Country Club will be the second Corpus Christi course to close within a year, following the 2009 closure of Kings Crossing Country Club. The newspaper article paints a bleak picture of golf in Corpus, reporting that rounds at the two municipal courses have fallen, and rounds at Padre Isles Country Club are down 35-percent over the past 10 years.
Pharaohs opened in 1964, designed by Ralph Plummer, and was a private club for most of its first 30 years. In its early years, it was considered a top-flight facility; many of the biggest local tournaments were played there. The LPGA Tour visited Pharaohs several times in the early 1970s, Kathy Whitworth winning one of those tournaments.
In the 1990s, Pharaohs switched to semi-private, still offering memberships but also allowing public play. Despite the oft-repeated claims of Corpus golfers (and I was one for the first 29 years of my life) that the city desperately needed a third public course, golfers never flocked to Pharaohs once it opened to the public. Forget flock, they didn't even trickle in.
I played Pharaohs often in the mid-90s, specifically because the course was usually deserted.
And the Caller-Times reports continuing declines at the other public courses in Corpus.
A couple years ago, the city of Corpus Christi paid the National Golf Foundation a lot of money to study the feasibility of adding a third municipal golf course (joining Oso Beach and Gabe Lozano Sr. golf courses). The NGF said no; focus instead on taking care of the two courses you already have.
Recently, a group of students at Texas A&M-CC studied the local golf scene, and concluded that the city should forget adding another muni and instead focus on taking care of the courses it already has.
Both studies also recommended changes to business plans to make the city's golf courses more self-sustaining, more customer-friendly, better conditioned. The NGF's recommendations were promptly ignored. So, too, will be the student group recommendations. That's just the way it works in Corpus. But if one thing should be clear after the decline in Corpus golf over the past 20 years, it's that another course is not needed.