Chestnut Ridge Country Club To Close Nov. 20

The 240-acre Lutherville club filed civil suits against at least 40 of its former members for back dues.

The Chestnut Ridge Country Club has told its members that it will be closing its doors on Nov. 20 and has filed at least 40 civil suits against former members for past dues.

A notice sent Thursday to members in several areas throughout the county—including Owings Mills, Reisterstown and Pikesville—informed them of the exclusive golf resort's closure, according to sources familiar with the issue.

And the club is suing dozens of members who left at the same time in April. The civil suits range from $800 to several thousand dollars, online court records show.

A representative from Chestnut Ridge did not return calls from a reporter seeking comment.

Joel Smeyne, of Owings Mills, had been a Chestnut Ridge member for several years and said he received a letter on Thursday informing him of the club's impending closure. He left in April and is one of the dozens being sued by the club. 

“I’m sorry to see it close,” Smeyne told Patch Friday evening. “I enjoyed every minute there.”

Chestnut Ridge boasts on its website a "sprawling" 240-acre property. A representative of Wells Fargo, which owns the property, could not be reached for comment because of the Veterans Day holiday.

The club is located at 11700 Falls Rd. in Lutherville. It was established in 1957. 

Stay with Patch as we continue to update this story.


CORRECTION: The article incorrectly stated that the property would be liquidated on Nov. 20. Patch regrets the error.

Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 01:57 AM
Our membership at SPCC is down along with outings and outside engagements. We are hoping to engage a developer with the possibility to capitalize on the scenic side of the club being on the water. Only time will tell on that issue along with some better news in the real estate market. The club has been in existence since 1925 and has been through tough times before.
Bart December 01, 2011 at 02:15 AM
We? Development? ................. Wow. Buzz, you're a real piece of work.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Disagree Robert their peer is Hunt Valley who is managed by Eagle Golf. To say that their peer was Suburban or Woodholme would be just kidding themself. The market that they should have been going after was Towson, Hunt Valley, Cockeysville and further north not Pikesville. Once they were no longer a Jewish club their market changed and with that changing market they more then any club north of Baltimore needed a management company.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 02:40 AM
Buzz i have a question for you does SPCC have designed people selling memberships and banquets. i visited SPCC Jonas website and it's lacking to sell outings and outside engagements.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Rick, at one time we had two different people on staff selling memberships. Their efforts did not pan out verses their salaries. While on the job I did 5 weddings and about 8 retirement parties. I've been down there enough that I don't visit the site unless I have too. We are having a special on memberships as I guess most clubs are. I have been down there since 87 when it was first opened to the public after Beth Steel let it go and sold it to the members. Let me know if there is something I should alert the committee to regarding the site. I do know that the outings and engagements were an important part of revenue. While on the job, a lot of the guys I worked with wanted to have events down there and I sponsored them. If you need any additional information I'll give you my web site and you can email me.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Bart do you feel disenfranchised because something is lacking in your life. As to your comment of; "Wow. Buzz, you're a real piece of work.", my life's work is posted on the web and all you need to do is Google it. Now what do we know about Bart? You make the snide remarks I'll respond. I'll wait to hear about your accomplishments. By the way the "We?", comment you made is correct. We, as in members own the club. We as members voted on the development of the club. Anything else you want to know? You are starting to act like someone else on this site.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 03:31 AM
Buzz just so you know my background I spent the last 11 years in the club business at Crofton Country Club. I have known Norm Vacovsky and Steve Bozel going back to my Junior days and since I turned 55 today it's been a long time. First of all there should be 2 seperate people in sales one for membership and one for banquets and outings. While your dues line is the most important revenue source banquets especially weddings are huge to the bottom line. Sparrow Point is a great property and selling events should not be a problem they should do 15-20 weddings a year. Are they using their members to try and recruit new members and are the existing members receiving anything for sponsering these new members. The Jonas website is a joke it's totally lacking in information. Visit the website for Crofton CC and see the difference between the two. Does SPCC accept outside banquets and how do they promote the property to get those events.
Buck Harmon December 01, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 03:59 AM
Buck, some people accuse me of many things, but I never go after someone. I will respond in self defense especially if it is a cheap shot. Just like last night when after reading you comments and realizing you were right I stated so. Because I knew based on my own experiences that cops are not infallible and neither is the Pope. You did it he way it's suppose to be done. It's called discourse and hopefully it is between adults. I never mind a good debate but I don't like the cheap shots. I read your response to that lady and thought that was a class thing to do. There are also many times on this site where I will admit I have been wrong. At one time I was king of the typos which is bad since I did it for a part-time living.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 04:17 AM
11:15pm on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Richard, Norm and Steve, now that goes a way back. I see Norm once in a while at the gym. I have not seen Steve since he won the club championship. Norm was a great player and could put like no one I have ever seen. I pleaded with him to give the senior tour a shot years ago because I thought if he committed himself he could give it a go. Speaking of Crofton did you know a player up there many years ago named Dave Correll. One of the best I ever knew. You are correct and I will bring it to the attention of the president. I never understood how a club with a marina, 27 holes, views to die for, was as Marty Bass said the best kept secret. Yes they do give members something if they bring in someone. We have a banquet manager, Vicki who has been down there for ever. She does a good job. They have tried so many membership concepts, but I guess the times really create the most problems. We have a good core of people and a Men's Club that is great. I can't believe I've been down there all these years. Sometimes it's sad because as you grow older some of your best friends get sick and pass on. I was not aware things were the getting to the point they were. One board member says we are holding our own and another says our golf membership is down to about 350 and 500 is a good number. I just heard that Elk Ridge is assessing their members $15,000.
Robert Armstrong December 01, 2011 at 04:24 AM
SPCC is a Joke. They will let anybody become a member. They are running a 30 day membership program for $100. You get a membership at SPCC and a $10 gift certificate at Chuck E. Cheese. They let a Draft Dodger in. 39 years and not 1 promotion.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 04:30 AM
I see Norm when I go down to Canton and take lessons at the range he is looking great for a old fart. I last saw Steve about three years ago when he was at Crofton and played with Bill Sporre. I don't know Dave Correll but their have been lots of great players at Crofton over the years. 350 members in today's economy isn't terrible. Does your Banquet Manager sell the events or just run them? A membership director is more important now then in good times. Who is the General Manager do there now? I agree it's tough seeing your old golf buddies either leave the game or pass away. Norm's like the rest of us as he aged his putting went to crap.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 04:34 AM
Robert where do you play, lots of clubs have no IF in this economy. The dues line is the important number not the IF.
Buck Harmon December 01, 2011 at 04:41 AM
Buzz, I don't ever plan to retire...not in the cards, so I probably won't have the time to share much of my life story on blogs such as these.... however I am passionate about seeking ways to assist or participate in improving conditions within communities. Bully bloggers are a vital part of the process~~ accountability or something ~~ and they will never go away.. I respect the fact that you stand firm in your convictions. You identify your take and make the effort to always back it up with evidence. This nurtures opportunity for healthy, positive debate. In fisherman terms...you set de-bate... time we all start reelin em in. If i had a dollar for every mistake or screwup that I've made I would be retired.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 05:52 AM
Buck I would say you are a man of many experiences which have given you a certain insight into life's many and complex issues we all face. A man of knowledge and experience is one that I will listen to with respect. Richard, he won't respond to any questions because he has no answers only vile comments. He has the maturity level of a child.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 06:05 AM
Richard, I don't think that our banquet manger actually recruits any events, she just runs them. I think we need close to 500 members to be solid. The last time they tried a assessment, the seniors revolted and threatened to leave. The board backed down. I think it may be different now with the economy being in the tank. I just hope that we hang in there until a developer comes along and helps save our club. We turned away Hale. He wanted to much of the club and that created some bad blood. He actually sued the club and two members. The plans we have are more acceptable to the membership.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 06:39 AM
good luck but until you have sales people in membership and banquets revenues will lack. One of the main problems with equity clubs is that they are too passive in building revenues and going out and finding the business. Sorry to say that seniors will always revolt when you make changes but normally their bark is louder than their bite. Who is the GM at Sparrows Point and does he/she lead the board or follow the board lead.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 06:49 AM
One of the major problems at Chestnut Ridge was that they waited to long to bring in a management company to turn around the membership numbers. Chestnut has been losing members for the last 3-4 years and it could have been saved with aggresive steps taken back in 08 or 09. They had a young membership 75% jewish and their demographics were great. They had a weak GM who wasn't able to lead the board and no one was pushing memberships. Even back in June 2011 when Casper took over they were looking for a business development manager and the package they offered was $40,000. Instead they brought in a GM from the midwest and demoted the previous GM to selling banquets and membership. If she had the ability to sell membership they would not have been it that position.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 06:49 AM
We will need the luck. Our GM is Paul and I'll have to look us his last name. He is fairly new. I mention the sales angle to the board. I think if it came down to it the members would take an assessment.
Richard Sheffler December 01, 2011 at 06:59 AM
Buzz would you please send me your email address so that I can forward my resume to you. I would appreciate if you would forward my resume to your board president. While I spent the last three years up until late 2010 as GM at Crofton I would like to discuss with him handling the sales and marketing for Sparrows Point. You can forward your email to rasheffler@gmail.com thanks
Bart December 01, 2011 at 01:38 PM
I stand corrected.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Bart, you have my respect. I was impressed by your comment. Thank you. Richard I'll send you our Men's Club site which is different than the club site. Take a look. Today I'm going to look at the club's site. All of the various functions go out on email and when the guys play on the weekend we have the same group of tee times so you really don't have to go the club's site. I hope I can remember my pass word. I'll forward any information or topics you have. When I see our president, Angie I run it by her.
Bart December 01, 2011 at 04:02 PM
It isn't necessary for me to make public my life's work. I don't boast or brag of it. I don't set myself up as an expert on anything. Merely stating opinions and sometimes bringing up facts to add to the discussion.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Bart, the only reason I have that sight was because I ran for office. I kept it up in order to keep the domain site name. As an unknown candidate it was a necessity to have the information. I have also toyed with concept of a local blog site and have made some changes. Some people use Facebook for posting information and I used the website.
Bart December 01, 2011 at 09:17 PM
And yet, you continue to send people to it. Not everyone choses to be such a flamboyant person. To each his own.
Buzz Beeler December 01, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Bart, if someone accused me of lying, like RA, yes I will send him or anyone to it. My name is on everything I write because I feel strongly that if you make a statement on and issue you should stand behind it. It serves no purpose to send anyone to the site because it has no baring except to promote this site which is free. I have been accused of many things and the site serves to set the record straight. I have seen you get upset and you are not risking your reputation on anything. If someone attacks me, what do you expect me to do? I might agree with you if the clicks on the site meant money in my pocket but that is not the case. I blog on this site and people have a right to know the person doing the blogging. You have to remember I was running for office and at the time name recognition is paramount. If you choose to remain behind the scenes I have no issue with that. That is your choice. I refer people to the site like I did one time when someone accused me of not having worked for the Sun among other issues. You cannot tell me that you would sit back and allow someone to besmirch your reputation without defending yourself. I have never used the site on Patch to promote anything other than the truth and this site in general. Patch gave me an opportunity and I chose to help promote this site.
Bart December 01, 2011 at 10:47 PM
No one has ever besmirched my reputation. You just need to do whatever it is you need to do. Again: To each his own.
Buzz Beeler December 02, 2011 at 02:00 AM
I agree, but when someone continually states that I was fired, a draft dodger, calls me Buller and Bunker, a retard just to name of few of the slurs, it's time to take a stand. I would think under the circumstances you would do the same.
Mike Tanner October 16, 2012 at 09:53 PM
So now what are the chances of Chestnut Ridge reopening as a course now that the zoning won't allow alot of houses to be built there?
daniel Liggon October 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Would love to se CRCC reopen, great course and such a wonderful mix of people as previous members this should never have happened. I hope Anita is doing well


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