Bounce off The Rim: Once highly regarded private Arizona golf club faces reality

        The web site at the once highly regarded Payson, Arizona community called The Rim Club welcomes visitors with an eerie sign of the times:  “There are no homes available at this time.  Check back often or visit our Information Center for details on our current offerings.”  Only one home site is listed for sale, at $149,900 for an acre-plus.  And the owner will pay the initiation fee for the golf club.

        That initiation fee is not worth what it was just 15 months ago when developer and club owner Crescent Resources sold memberships for $150,000.  Now, in the wake of Crescent’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy from which it emerged one month ago, and the takeover of the club by its members, the new initiation fee is just $10,000.  That is largely because the club is now open to the public.

        There is no questioning the quality of The Rim golf course, about 75 miles north of Scotsdale.  Golfweek magazine has consistently rated the Weiskopf/Morrish layout the best residential golf course in the southwest region since it opened in 2003.  Other ratings put the golf course in the top 60 of all courses nationwide.  Reports are that it is both challenging and beautiful, with significant elevation changes, dramatic rock outcroppings and killer views of the surrounding mountains.

        With dozens of properties in 10 southeastern and southwestern states, it may be many more months before Crescent sorts out a clear direction for itself.  Until then, the bad news at The Rim Club is good news for those who have been lusting to play it; now’s their chance, at summer green fees from $99 to $120 at peak times.

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