Under new owner CCO Hospitality, LLC and operator Hampton Golf Clubs, the property will receive a $2 million infusion for repairs and upgrades. The club’s two-phase program will involve renovating the clubhouse, tennis courts, pool area, and the banquet hall, then shifting focus to the golf course in May.
The Country Club of Ocala (Fla.) is getting a $2 million infusion for repairs and upgrades under its new ownership, the Ocala Star Banner reported.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based CCO Hospitality, LLC has bought the 22-year-old club, according to Marion County Clerk of the Circuit Court records. Hampton Golf Clubs, also based in Jacksonville, will operate the club, the Star Banner reported.
Travis Norman is vice president of Hampton Golf Clubs and oversees the company’s golf course management and renovation projects. The plan is to have the Country Club of Ocala offer more services to a wider demographic, the Star Banner reported.
The old business plan of opening a golf course to an elite few is over, Norman said. Families want convenience and services that accommodate everyone. To that end, Hampton is overseeing several projects to attract a wider clientele and catch up on some deferred maintenance, the Star Banner reported.
“We have a really strong lifestyle program, and we’re in an aggressive mode to attract new members,” Norman said.
The club currently has 280 members, and members are not required to be residents of the community surrounding the club, the Star Banner reported.
Hampton has a two-phase program to attract more members and get more of them to stay longer at the facility. The first phase includes renovating the clubhouse, tennis courts and pool area, and upgrading the banquet hall. Some of that work is being done now and likely will be completed in the next 90 days, the Star Banner reported.
The second phase will begin in May and will focus on the golf course itself. The management company will change all greens to TifEagle grass, Norman said. The plan includes making the greens 15-20% larger and renovating the drainage systems for the bunkers. The course staff also will move about one-third of the bunkers, the Star Banner reported.
“This is really a fantastic designed course, but the playability is (most important),” Norman said.
While elite players can do well on the current layout, most amateurs have a difficult time with it. The goal is to make it enjoyable for all skill levels. “The challenge is still there, and when we get done with this, you can really have an enjoyable day of golf with friends and family,” he said.
The prices will remain the same, Norman said. The club charges $525 per month per family, which gives members full access to all amenities. A second option is $250 per month for access to the club’s fitness center, pool, tennis and dining facilities. The club will offer special prices to attract youth groups or other desired members and for special events, and will aggressively rent out the banquet hall, the Star Banner reported.
The plan is to offer existing members the best services the company can, Norman said, “but we really want to bring in the younger generation, too.” He likened the company’s golf courses to a cruise ship. “We will have something for everybody,” he said.
Country Club of Ocala, Inc. sold the club in mid-December. The initial owners had made a significant investment, and the club was a very involved financial undertaking, the Star Banner reported.
In time, the owners “decided it was time to change management,” said George Kirkland, a member of the Country Club of Ocala, Inc.’s executive committee and one of the owners.