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White Horse golf course closes; future uncertain

White House Golf Club closed indefinitely Thursday. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
White House Golf Club closed indefinitely Thursday.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

KINGSTON -- The White Horse Golf Club closed indefinitely Thursday, the result of ongoing financial trouble at the south Kingston development.

White Horse Golf Director Bruce Christy said Friday the course would be closed until further notice. He said he expected the club to reopen if the White Horse development changed ownership.

White Horse Golf Club LLC and White Horse Development Co. LLC, both owned by Robert Screen, went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Aug. 27 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western Washington Division.

White Horse was in foreclosure and scheduled to be sold at public auction Aug. 28. According to a notice of trustee's sale filed in May, the development owed $5.3 million to its Bainbridge-based lender, American Marine Bank.

Screen has not returned repeated calls for comment made since the foreclosure notice was issued in May. A call to an attorney representing White Horse in the bankruptcy filing was not immediately returned.

American Marine Bank Senior Vice President Judy Thorpe said she could not discuss details of customer accounts but was aware that Screen had closed the course Thursday. She said the bank would announce any changes in the status of the course as soon as the information could be made public.

"Clearly we'd like to get it back open," she said. "We're working on the details."

Screen broke ground on the housing development piece of White Horse in 2003. The golf course opened in 2007 to rave reviews from golf publications.

On Friday morning, White Horse resident Jenelle Nemeth said homeowners hadn't received any notification from Screen that the golf course was closing.

Christy said he planned on maintaining the golf course in anticipation of it reopening but said the club hasn't kept on any employees.

He said he could have the course ready for play within a few days if an owner decided to reopen the club.

"It's going to depend on what the bank and the owner decide to do," Christy said.

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