Controversy plaguing Ahwatukee golf club, members speaking out

Posted at 10:25 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 01:25:31-04

Controversy is plaguing Ahwatukee's Club West Golf Club after its new owner allegedly ran off with member dues. Dozens of members got together Wednesday night to discuss a plan moving forward.

"We spent $6,000 overall," said Craig Thurston, who purchased a family membership at Club West in November.

However, the man who sold him that membership hasn't lived up to his word.

The grass at Club West is dried up because the water was turned off last month. The Biscuits restaurant was also forced to shut down.

Thurston believes the owner scammed everyone.

"To me, this was some kind of Ponzi scheme," he said.

Club West was purchased in December by Rich Breuninger.

He promised the members he would figure out the water problem that has plagued the course for some time.

Members said that promise is why they bought in. But now, they are losing out.

"He said he talked to Native Americans about getting water off the reservation, but we found out tonight that he never had a single conversation," Thurston explained.

Residents and golfers are not the only ones affected.

"Every one of my employees, which is about 20, lost their jobs," said the manager of Biscuits.

The Biscuits owner paid Breuninger $100,000 to open a location at Club West. The restaurant was barely open four months.

"It's not right, it's very sad," said the manager. "And whatever is going on, it should be made right."

Members did not make any decisions Wednesday but are discussing all of their legal options.

Our calls to Breuninger were not returned.