New owner vows new life for Walden Lake Golf Course in Plant City

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 19:11:21-04

Walden Lake Golf Course used to be one of the premier golf courses in the Tampa Bay Area.

The parking lot was always packed, the pro shop was stocked and the club house was the setting of weddings and events.

It was the pride of Plant City. It brought the community together and it attracted thousands of new residents from all over the country.

"I've been a golfer here for about 30 years," residents like retired military veteran Bob Colten who moved here from Alabama 30 years ago said.

"Walden Lake was a premier golf course it was an asset to plant city," he says.

But these days Bob and his Walden Lake neighbors are saddened by what they see now.

The course shut down and the grass uncut. The previous owner went into foreclosure and the greens wasted away.

But now a new owner is stepping in with a new vision for a new course and a new club house.

"I have high hopes that the present owner Lynn Archibald is going to be able to recreate the golf course," says Bob.

It's a multi-phase plan that'll take several years and several million dollars. And residents will have to help support it with a possible $25 a month fee. But Bob says it's money well spent, to bring back the pride of Plant City.

"I think a lot of the value of the neighborhood depends on the golf course. I've seen the good and I've seen the bad so I'm hoping for the good again," he says.

The new owner, who was out of town when this story aired, told ABC Action News on phone that by October 1, the Walden Lake Golf Course will reopen with new greens and in good playing condition.

But the major surgery to bring it back to what it once was will take several years and a commitment from the community as a whole to support the course.

Residents we spoke to say they are willing to make that commitment, if the promises are for real.