The Canadian-based Cabot brand has now made it’s way to the United States after the acquisition of World Woods Golf Club (WWGC) and other affiliated properties was announced today.
Built on the foundation of the highly successful and acclaimed Cabot Cape Breton properties in Nova Scotia, the Cabot brand is already reaching to Saint Lucia with the development of a course there and a previously announced project in Revelstoke, British Columbia. Now they will dip into the U.S. for the very first time with the already-established World Woods facility.
This will be the first time Cabot has embarked on a project that will not be built from the ground up.
The thirty-year-old World Woods complex is located in Brooksville, Florida, about an hour north of Tampa. Despite its inclusion of two full eighteen-hole Tom Fazio designs (Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks) as well as a short course, three practice holes, a 23-acre practice range, and a 2-acre putting green, it never reached its full potential.
Backed by investors from Japan, the intention was to grow WWGC to as many as seven courses over their 2,600 acres of property, but it just never developed. An expanded clubhouse failed to came to fruition and eventually the luster of its amenities was overtaken by more competition in the state, much of it closer to the wider population.
Despite all that, the Pine Barrens course alone continued to shine for golf aficionados, providing a beacon for many visitors. With rare rolling property, unusual for the state, and sand-blessed ground, the bones of the layout still made it revered. It continues to be rated among the top 5 public courses in Florida alongside the likes of TPC Sawgrass and the Streamsong properties.
Ben Cowan-Dewar, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Cabot, saw the potential in the property (including the 1200 acres included in their deal) when he visited a decade ago. It was on his list for future considerations soon after.
“I couldn’t wish for a better location for our first U.S. development,” said Cowan-Dewar in a release, who spent some of his formative years living in Eastern Ontario, “The property is a nature lover’s paradise that rivals the most spectacular sites I’ve seen across the world.”
Plans for the property will full kick off in 2023 when the Cabot Citrus Farms name comes into play (the course will operate as WWGC through 2022). Work will be done to revitalize the courses and add commercial amenities to make it more attractive to owners of related residential development.
The process is currently underway to find golf course architects who can maximize the properties potential, which is immense.