A lack of adequate funding is one of the main issues working against the development and or expansion of the Cedar Valley Golf Course.
This is according to one member on the board of directors and attorney at law, Ralph Francis, who said that although government is the major shareholder, the assistance is not as constant as many would believe.
“First of all, you have to look at the finances that we have. We don’t get government finances save for in the one or two exceptional circumstances because the other day, they pumped money into Cedar Valley to allow us to get equipment and so on, but Cedar Valley is a golf course where basically, the operation finances the business,” he said.
The board, Francis said, is currently focused on attracting more players from outside of Antigua and Barbuda in an attempt to further boost the appeal of the golf course.
“The most important thing is to build up the number of foreign golfers we get to play at Cedar Valley through advertising, promotion and whatever we can get done. We don’t have a large membership base and that is because of the fact that we are in a small country with a small population,” he said.
The avid golfer said those who criticise the management of the facility over what they consider subpar conditions there, must first seek to get a better understanding of the existing challenges.
“Three weeks ago there were a lot of complaints about Cedar Valley this and Cedar Valley the other, and two Wednesdays ago, some rain fell and the place turned green and it’s the best golf course in the world. What we have to recognise is that we have seasons, in the dry season it is going to be dry and hard and in the wet season it is going to look like paradise but the fact of the matter is that you cannot judge Cedar Valley or most golf courses by the standards you’d see on TV of Augusta National and those places,” Francis said.
In 2017, a massive redevelopment of the Cedar Valley Golf Course had been proposed by government, to include its rebranding as an internationally recognised Jack Nicklaus championship course.
The then minister of tourism and economic investment, Asot Michael, laid out the proposal in February last year, which he said was valued at US $130 million.
The plan called for the government to contribute the 149 acres comprising the Cedar Valley Golf Course into a joint venture company but also to secure additional private land around the golf course.