1. Good-Bye World Woods, Hello Cabot Citrus Farms
A staple for high-quality, affordable golf since 1994, World Woods was acquired by Cabot, the highly respected, Canadian based developer and operator of golf resort communities. Set near Brooksville, 50 miles north of Tampa, (80 miles northwest of Orland0) the 36-hole complex, currently consisting of two Tom Fazio-designed courses (Rolling Oaks and Pine Barrens) and a par-3 course will be transformed into an upscale resort property, Cabot Citrus Farms. Cabot plans to introduce a housing component, which will be a significant change since World Woods did not have surrounding development. Cabot purchased 1,200 acres, but, reportedly will concentrate initially on upgrading and renovating the golf courses, which comprise about 500 acres.
2. Expected Opening
The target date for the debut of Cabot Citrus Farms is late 2023.
3. What Changes and Enhancements are Planned?
Both Rolling Oaks and Pine Barrens will undergo renovations with Cabot’s goal to “bring back the golf to where it was when the place first opened.” World Woods courses in recent years had slipped somewhat in quality due to a lack of a top notch maintenance budget. Plans also call for a re-designed practice area, putting course and a short course similar to The Nest at Cabot Cape Breton. Some of the enhancements for the overall project include the addition of cottages and villas, a new clubhouse and nature paths. Cabot Citrus Farms will also feature retail, restaurants, fitness and spa amenities, communal gathering spots, and a farmer’s market. In total, upon completion, the complex will include two 18-hole courses, plus an 11-hole par-3 course and a 10-hole regulation-length course.
4. Who Will Be the Golf Course Architects
Kyle Franz is the architect of record on both 18-hole redesigns (Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks) and Mike Nuzzo is co-designing Rolling Oaks with Franz and also overseeing the build of the other two shorter courses.
5. Who is Cabot, The Developer?
The Canadian company was co-founded by Ben Cowan-Dewar and developer Mike Keiser, a visionary who created Bandon Dunes in Oregon and Sand Valley in Wisconsin. Headed by CEO Cowan-Dewar, Cabot’s impressive growing portfolio includes Cape Breton in Nova Scotia (Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs) and two new projects: Cabot Saint Lucia on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, and Cabot Revelstoke, expected to open in 2024 in the mountains of central British Columbia. Cowan-Dewar, who formerly owned a high-end golf travel business, GolfTI (Golf Travel Impresarios) has played many of the great golf courses in the world. He strongly believes development around golf courses can be done tastefully to appeal to both golfers residents.