Cabot, the Canadian developer that recently purchased three golf courses in the area, has released plans for one of them: World Woods.
In the deal, Cabot also bought Sugarmill Woods and Southern Woods in Homosassa. Spokeswoman Rachel Maher said more details on what’s planned for those courses will be released as soon as details are finalized.
But first comes World Woods and some big changes are planned.
For now, the 1,200-acre property off U.S. 98 – on the border of Citrus and Hernando counties – will still be known by World Woods. Renovations to the course will begin in spring 2022.
In 2023, it will open as Cabot Citrus Farms with amenities that will include two revitalized 18-hole courses, a par-3 course, a new clubhouse and practice facilities with a putting course and driving range.
Cabot Citrus Farms will have retail, restaurants, fitness and spa amenities, communal gathering points and a farmer’s market.
Gene McGee, a member of the Citrus County Tourist Development Council (TDC), said if the new owner spends the money to improve World Woods, it will attract golfers from all over who will find their way to Citrus County.
An avid golfer, McGee said Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks are gorgeous courses. And they’re public, which makes it better.
“It will be a draw for tourism in Citrus County,” he said. “People are likely to stay in (local) hotels and RV resorts in Citrus County because the golf course will be so close.”
It’s so close, he said, that some people think World Woods is in Citrus County, instead of Brooksville.
Cabot is searching for golf course architects to improve the overall playing experience and “bring out the best of this spectacular site,” according to a Cabot news release.
“I couldn’t wish for a better location for our first U.S. development,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, CEO and co-founder of Cabot. “The property is a nature lover’s paradise that rivals the most spectacular sites I’ve seen across the world.
“We are excited to build upon the amazing legacy established at World Woods and forge a new path for Cabot Citrus Farms as a vibrant golf and residential community that showcases the Sunshine State’s abundant natural offerings,” Cowan-Dewar said.
World Woods was established by Yukihisa Inoue in 1993 and garnered acclaim for its two championship golf courses – Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks – and impressive practice facilities.
Pine Barrens was previously a mainstay on the World Top 100 list, while Rolling Oaks remains one of the top courses in the state, according to Cabot.
Cabot also said Citrus County will realize an increase in tourism when the new facility opens.
“Visitors will delight in one-of-a-kind experiences including exceptional hiking, biking and nature trails at neighboring Withlacoochee State Forest, spring-fed rivers and bountiful lakes at Crystal River, and world-class fishing in the Gulf of Mexico,” the company said.
For more information, see www.cabotcitrus farms.com.