The Ianni family “pitched in” to buy the Whitmore Lake, Mich., property for $1.4 million, and has been renovating the facility over the last 15 months. Renovations included restoring the wood on the inside, updating the bathrooms, adding a custom-built bar, building a deck and gazebo, and course updates.
Rolling Meadows Golf Course, an 18-hole course in Whitmore Lake, Mich., that features a driving range, putting green and, for some time, an underused clubhouse, was purchased by Susan and Tony Ianni in March 2015, the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News reported.
Having lived near the course for the past 17 years, the couple knew there was potential to restore the beauty of the facility after it had fallen on hard times, and to make it a place golfers in southeast Michigan wanted to play, the News reported.
“We met as a family and made a decision to buy it and we all pitched in,” Susan Ianni said. “We wanted to make it a fun, different golf course.”
Over the last 15 months, the family spent countless hours renovating everything it could, from the clubhouse to the course itself. On June 17, the family will officially show off their work during a grand-opening golf outing, the News reported.
The transformation and operation of the course is truly a family affair. Susan and Tony, their two sons, two daughters and Tony’s brother Dino have worked to make their dream a reality, the News reported.
“When we bought it, we ran it as we were under construction,” Susan Ianni said. “It was still a functioning golf course, we just ran it with what we had.”
Northfield Township records show the golf course was purchased for $1.4 million. The biggest renovation came inside of the clubhouse, a converted barn built in the 1800s. When the family bought Rolling Meadows, the barn had a drop ceiling in place and paneling from the 1970s, the News reported.
“It was really run down. It was a 1800s barn that they used to sell golf out of, but never really utilized this part of it,” she said. “We spent a year doing a restoration of the barn.”
Renovations included restoring the wood on the inside, updating the bathrooms and cleaning up an upstairs seating area that will now be used for small gatherings or extra seating in the clubhouse. Susan is most proud of is the brand new bar, the News reported.
“This is the neatest part of the clubhouse is this bar that was custom built,” she said.
Constructed out of old barn wood, the top of the bar is made from trees that were cut down on the course and repurposed for use in the clubhouse. The clubhouse serves beer and has a full liquor license, something that wasn’t available before the family took over, the News reported.
A deck was added out back leading down to the old horse stables, which have been converted into another gathering area. Ping pong tables, beanbag toss and other activities are located in the stables. The area also is large enough to be used for events like a wedding reception. A handmade gazebo was constructed near the pond where a giant fountain was also installed, the News reported.
Course manager Tony Ianni Jr. says the additions are a hit with golfers who were looking for more than just a place to play golf. “We’re open a lot later now and it gives them something to do after they golf,” he said.
Along with the clubhouse changes, senior tees have been added, along with more fertilization for the course which improves the playing experience for golfers, the News reported.
“They knew how much potential the course had,” Tony Ianni Jr. said. “They’re just super happy to see the changes and know where things are going.”
Susan Ianni said one of the biggest improvements was to add more features that made the course more accessible to women, including putting more bathrooms on the course itself, the News reported.
“That was one of the first things we did. We added extra outhouses on the course, fixed up the women’s bathrooms and made it women-friendly,” she said.
The additions appear to have worked as the course now has two women’s leagues that were not playing at Rolling Meadows previously. The course is about 6,400 yards from the blue tees and can be golfed in about four hours, the News reported.
“It’s got a very nice layout so it’s fun and enjoyable. It has some nice challenges throughout the course,” Tony Ianni Jr. said.
While there are still some minor tweaks being made as the family learns more about the habits of the golfers visiting the course, a grand opening takes place Friday during a charity golf outing. A portion of the proceeds will go to Make-a-Wish Michigan, the News reported.
Susan Ianni said she’s excited to officially show off the work the family did to rejuvenate the course, and although it’s been a lot of hard work, she says doing it as a family has made it worth it. “We all have the same vision and we do it well and we do it as a team,” she said. “It’s fun. We’re just blessed that we were able to do this.”