Not the greens, tees, fairways or sand traps.
It has died of neglect. The sign on Marksheffel Road tells the story.
There are a few hints that the weedy pasture once was a Lee Trevino-designed golf course. Concrete cart paths betray its past. Also the ghostly, abandoned clubhouse atop the hill overlooking the 156-acre property.
The place is in foreclosure. It’s owner, Morley Golf, owes $14.2 million on an $18.2 million loan used to buy the closed course in 2006 and renovate it.
Look past the weeds, willows and thistle and you can see where the money went.
Miles of concrete was poured for cart paths and curbs. A new sprinkler system and pumps were installed. The clubhouse was under renovation and expansion. Five holes had been built on a new 220-acre southern expansion of the property.
But in 2008, the bank that made the loan failed and was bought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The money dried up and the developer, Jim Morley of Colorado Springs, had to abandon the project.
Folks who live along the edges of the golf course couldn’t understand why one day the course was poised to reopen and the next it was empty again.
Neighbors like George and Leta Gatchel had bought their house on the 14th tee in 2001 because they loved the location. George golfs and has a cart he used to buzz around the property serving as a marshal on the course.
Gatchel fears the closure and abandonment of Appletree has cost him upwards of $100,000 off the value of his home.
Others, like Michael and Donna Leischner, are learning the hard truth about the damage it is doing to property values.
They bought their home in 2005 when the course was will operating.
They were capivated by the view of Pikes Peak over the lake, seen here on the Appletree web site in its glory days.
Today, the lake is drying and receding.
The water has left behind caked mud and collecting trash and tumbleweeds.
Here’s a look at Appletree from FlashEarth.com before it was abandoned.
Here it is today, as George Gatchel sits in his golf cart amid the fairways of the old course. It looks more like the pastureland it used to be than a golf course.