Popular Lakeland golf course on the verge of being sold to make way for residential housing

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A popular Lakeland golf course is on the verge of being sold to make way for residential housing.

Stonebridge Golf Club has been around for over 4 decades, and Lakeland city leaders as well as residents don’t want to see it go.

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Parents have taught their kids how to play the game on the fairways and greens, and the thought of having it turned into residential housing is something many don’t want to see happen.

On a frigid winter day, the talk at Stonebridge Golf Club was not about birdies and eagles.

“Shock. Shock and disbelief. It’s a great course,” said Myron Stokes, an avid golfer. “I do not want to see it go. I frequent here quite often, and I would be very disappointed if it left."

Lakeland’s Mayor Wyatt Bunker told us the golf course owners and the potential buyers are in the due diligence process of the sale. They are about to present a plan to put houses and commercial buildings on the land.

“Well the knee-jerk reaction from me and others who have heard this news is no,” said the Mayor.

That reaction stems from the residents who live on the course who could see their home values fall.

“They bought into a lifestyle, and it’s a lifestyle of golf in their back yard, and that quaintness that comes along with that,” added Mayor Bunker.

“I think it would be really bad. I hope it does not happen,” Johnny Lyon, General Manager of the golf club said he doesn’t know a lot about the club’s future, but he believes the course’s history of golf and charity work are reasons it should stay.

“It means a lot. This place has been here for almost 45 years,” said Lyon.

A timetable for the sale is unclear, but we do know the city will have the final say if the course stays or if it goes.

“The city is going to give an objective review that we owe every developer that comes to us, and we’re going to continue to protect the citizens interests,” said Mayor Bunker.

The main hurdle the new owner will have to face is getting the city to re-zone the land. Right now, it’s zoned as agricultural, and only the city can re-zone the land to make it residential.