New owners take over historic Turquoise Valley Golf Course (copy)

Joseph Lewis is one of the owners who bought the Turquoise Valley Golf Course in Naco in September 2018. It was announced in a Tuesday Facebook post that the course was closing its doors immediately.

NACO — Turquoise Valley Golf Course in Naco announced in a Facebook post on Wednesday they have shut down with no plans to reopen.

The post reads: “Sorry to say, TVGC closed it’s [sic] doors permanently as of yesterday, June 4. RV Park IS still open, and will remain so.”

Calls to the course were met with a voice message stating the restaurant and course are now closed and members should contact Al Lopez to pick up their golf carts.

“Given the legacy of this course, our hearts are broken to be making this announcement,” owner Joseph Lewis said in a press release.

Lewis and other anonymous partners from Phoenix took ownership of the course in September 2018, saying they knew the course needed work.

The course, which was the oldest continuously running course in the state, was established in 1908 and has undergone multiple ownership changes in recent years. The back nine was designed by local golf pro Dick Atkinson in 1997 and the full 18-hole golf course made its debut in 1999 and houses the world’s 10th-longest hole, “The Rattler,” a 747-yard par-6.

The course’s future

Atkinson, a frequent golfer at Turquoise Valley, said he attended a town hall meeting hosted by Lewis about future plans for the course on May 13. Atkinson said Lewis told attendees of possible renovations at the course and was asked how much his plans for the renovations would cost and his response was “between $20 and $25 million.”

The redevelopment plans were to include nine of the existing holes along with an amphitheater and other public amenities have been placed on indefinite hold.

The closure resulted in 14 workers being laid off, according to the release.

“These are hardworking, dedicated and loyal employees whom I very much hope quickly find employment elsewhere,” Lewis said.

According to the press release all “members will be reimbursed for their unused prorated portion of their memberships.” They should leave a message on the course’s voicemail, 520-432-3091, to coordinate the return of golf clubs, personal carts etc.

Atkinson said he would hate to see the course close permanently and hopes to be part of a solution.

“I’d like to help in any way,” Atkinson said. “That golf course is a valuable course for the area, not only for recreation but as a contribution to the economy — which goes in many directions.”