Evan and Annette Wilson sold the property containing the local golf course in Abilene, Kan. to Brian Slaughter, who plans on keeping and adding to the course and fitness options. With a bevy of plans for the property, Slaughter said he aims to open the golf course in the spring or early summer of 2023, with renovations to the course beginning in the spring. The fitness area will remain open. The business is titled Abilene Golf and Fitness, LLC.
On Nov. 10, Evan and Annette Wilson sold the property containing the local golf course in Abilene, Kan. to Brian Slaughter, who plans on keeping and adding to the course and fitness options, abilene-rc.com reported. With a bevy of plans for the property, Slaughter said he aims to open the golf course in the spring or early summer of 2023, with renovations to the course beginning in the spring. The fitness area will remain open. The business is titled Abilene Golf and Fitness, LLC.
“This has worked out really well for us and has worked out, we believe, well for the Abilene community and hope everybody supports Brian and his family on this endeavor,” Annette Wilson said to abilene-rc.com.
Slaughter and his family live in Manhattan, Kan. He is an apache helicopter instructor pilot for Ft. Riley. A reason Slaughter bought the course is because he plans on retiring in the near future, and he wants a project to look forward to once he retires, abilene-rc.com reported.
“We look forward to helping make Abilene a better place, and we’re just really excited about the opportunity,” Slaughter said. “We look forward to see people out there.”
For the golf course, Slaughter said he wants to incorporate an improved driving range with seating and overhead coverage, abilene-rc.com reported. He is also planning on having a station for customers to rent golf balls. He also plans on offering new golf carts as the course opens next year.
For renovating for the course, Slaughter said improving the greens and tee boxes are his top priority, abilene-rc.com reported. Eventually, he will improve the fairways and bunkers. The renovations will begin in the spring.
“It’s going to take time to get the greens back to green. Weather pending, I do plan to have the golf course open, even if the greens are not up to par,” Slaughter said. “It’ll be mowed so people can play, but I don’t want to put promises there that the whole place will be a green, pristine course by spring. It just takes time. I’m not going to keep people from playing out there.”
Slaughter said he wants Abilene High School golf players to practice on the course, abilene-rc.com reported.
The fitness room will remain open. Memberships for the rest of the course and amenities will become available closer to when those amenities open, abilene-rc.com reported. Slaughter said he encouraged the public to go to the main building in-person for more information on the memberships. 72 storage spaces are currently available for golfers to rent out to store their equipment in. The spaces are first-come-first-serve.
Slaughter said he wants to open a restaurant on the second floor of the building and a pro shop on the first floor, abilene-rc.com reported. The fitness room would be moved to the first floor of a new two-story recreation center. The center is to be placed where the tennis courts currently are, with the second floor having other recreational options such as foosball, pool and darts. He is considering pickleball and basketball courts.
“I haven’t put a time frame,” Slaughter said. “It kind of depends on how the next year or two goes. Ultimately, I want to turn it back into more of a country club concept.”
He hopes to open the pool in April or May next year. He also plans on repainting the main building with a, “more modern look,” once the weather warms up, and is also open to hosting public events in the main building.
The Wilsons, Abilene natives, have owned the golf course property for about a decade, abilene-rc.com reported. Garrett Rediker previously leased the property and operated his business under the Great Life Golf and Fitness franchise. The couple announced their intent to sell property in March of this year. They gave the city of Abilene the first opportunity to purchase the property before they placed it on the open market. The city decided not to purchase after a few months of negotiations.
“It feels good to get this wrapped up, have somebody who’s excited to come to Abilene and bring this to Abilene, and keep it a facility that will be good for Abilene, young and old,” Annette Wilson said.
The Wilsons and Slaughter declined to comment on the acquisition price of the property.