After 40 years in the clubhouse, Harry Parsons is selling the Payson Golf Course.
Bob Jackson of Pine is buying the public 18-hole course from Parsons.
The sale is in escrow and Jackson could take possession of the 117-acre property by the end of the year.
Parsons says he is ready to retire.
“During the past 40 years, the Payson Golf Course has provided golfers in Rim Country an opportunity to play affordable golf. We’ve partnered with various clubs and organizations in the community to achieve their fundraising goals by facilitating golf tournaments,” he said. “We’ve tried to increase interest in golf through activities like the Businessman’s Twilight, the Drive, Wine and Dine and of course, partnering with schools to develop future golfers.”
So what is in store for the course, at 1504 W. Country Club Drive, off Main Street?
Jackson says he plans to keep the course open to the public and develop it into a community asset with an improved restaurant, additional activities, like bocce ball and pickleball and a better all-around course for the community to enjoy.
Ultimately, Jackson is working to develop a “planned area development that includes the golf course.”
“It is hoped that this project will be a source of community pride. Plans will be shared with the adjoining neighbors as soon as a plan is created in conjunction with the Town of Payson,” Jackson said. “There are no immediate plans for any development other than making improvements to the golf course.”
Rumors have swirled half of the course will be turned into housing. Jackson said he has even heard a rumor that he will add mobile homes.
He said those rumors are just that — rumors. Jackson has no immediate plans to add housing, but down the road could consider building homes consistent with the area.
“But I don’t really know,” he said. “I will wait to see what the community needs are.”
Jackson said they plan to remodel the clubhouse and make improvements to the course starting in January. He will have the breezeway separating the bar from the clubhouse enclosed and both spaces updated.
He plans to hire a golf pro to offer lessons.
While the course will remain open to the public, and hold similar hours, Jackson would like to build up golf memberships. Members would be given priority tee times.
“The plan is to offer golf and country club memberships with activities that will attract local people and summer residents from the East Valley,” he said. “We will also continue being open to the public and intend to offer food and beverage services as we go forward. We will position the golf course as a mid-market club that is both affordable and convenient for a large number of people for social activities and community events.”
Jackson said he has been living in the Rim Country for 12 years. He bought a home in Pine in 2007, which he visited in the summer, and became a full-time resident in 2016. He is the chair and founder of Valley-based Jackson/Roskelley Wealth Advisors.
Jackson said he is “enthused about this property and thanks Harry Parsons for agreeing to sell the property to us.”
“I really respect Harry Parsons,” he said.
Parsons thanked the community for years of support.
“My wife and I look forward to retirement,” he said.
Jackson said he welcomes community comments and suggestions and would develop a website with more information.
Jackson said they welcome current groups that use the course to continue, such as the men’s golf association.
The Payson Golf Course was built in 1959 and purchased in 1977 by the Parsons family.
According to Roundup archives, the Town of Payson attempted to buy the course in 1999 with the understanding that golf course user charges would entirely finance operation, maintenance and the debt service.
However, later that same year, the Roundup reported that the sale had fallen through because the Parsons wanted to sell the course through a stock sale and the town could not legally buy a corporation.