STERLING – LakeView Golf Club was sold Sunday in an emotional auction that disappointed many members, a manager said.
About 40 club members came to support an unsuccessful bidder who wanted to keep it a golf course, bar manager Jim Glazier said.
Charlie Lawrence, owner of Charlie Lawrence Trucking of Sterling, bought the property at 23319 Hazel Road, between Sterling and Morrison.
Lawrence declined to say Sunday what he plans to do with the site, but Glazier said Lawrence told him he plans to turn it into a cattle farm.
“Everybody’s very disappointed,” Glazier said. “A lot of people were out there who loved the place. A lot of those people were there today. There were a lot of tears shed, mine included.”
Fifth Third Bank filed a foreclosure of mortgage in Whiteside County Court on Dec. 14.
The property was to be sold in three parcels – 80, 53 and 5 acres – but no one bid on them separately, Glazier said. The 5-acre plot 5 has the clubhouse and golf cart shed.
Bids for the property as a whole reached $650,000, said Darrell Dahl, a broker and auctioneer with United Country Dahl Real Estate who managed the auction.
The bid was not high enough for the bank, though, and a final sale price was set after the auction, Dahl said.
He declined to provide the amount. Fifth Third was closed Monday for Veterans Day, and no one could be reached for comment.
Owner Jerry Digani, who lives in Northfield and is a vice president of the health care division of Shaker Advertising in Oak Park, did not return calls seeking comment.
In an SVM article published Oct. 12, he said the course, which he has owned for 22 years, was appraised at nearly $1 million.
The club had about 140 members, one full-time employee – Glazier – and 20 to 25 seasonal part-time employees. The poor economy and competition from Sterling Park District’s golf course hurt his business, Digani said.
Originally built as a nine-hole course in the 1950s, LakeView was expanded to 18 holes in the late 1970s, according to its website.