The Pataskala, Ohio property is under the ownership of Kassel Equity Group, which has invested heavily in improving the interior of the clubhouse over the past year, now offering members grab-and-go lunches as well as sit-down meals. The property’s golf course has remained largely untouched by the changes.
The new owners of High Lands Golf Club in Pataskala, Ohio are working to bring the facility back to its former glory, the Newark (Ohio) Advocate reported.
High Lands was under the control of its members since its opening in 1957 until just a few years ago. Like many private courses that have struggled with membership totals, High Lands was purchased by developers. It is currently owned by Kassel Equity Group, which has invested heavily in improving the interior of the clubhouse over the past year, the Advocate reported.
To celebrate the work that has been done, High Lands will host a Music Festival and Cornhole Tournament on August 5. High Lands marketing director Garrison Myles hopes the event will serve as an opportunity for community members to come up to the club and see what it has to offer, the Advocate reported.
There are a number of public golf courses on the western end of Licking County, but High Lands remains the only truly private golf club within a 10-mile radius. The club is aiming to add members from across east central Ohio, the Advocate reported.
“The big thing has been renovating the entire interior of the clubhouse,” Myles said. “We redid the entire bar and the golf shop. We added a conference room and we upgraded all of the kitchen equipment. We got merchandise inside the golf shop. They are working this week on the outside of the building and it should be done by Friday for the festival.”
One feature inside the clubhouse is the multi-colored wood flooring, the Advocate reported.
“Everybody loves the renovations,” Myles said. “The floor has been the biggest compliment. It’s different and very unique. I’ve never seen it anywhere. They did a good job with the bar and opening it up. It is lighter and it’s just a better vibe around the place.”
The club has settled on a restaurant menu that varies between grab-and-go lunches for golfers and sit-down meals for families, the Advocate reported.
“We have quite a few social members who come in,” Myles said. “We have specialty drinks we have made our own. Our chef has done a great job with the menu between getting burgers out there as well as wings and specialty dinners. We run weekly specials. We have gotten good feedback on the food. It is an upscale menu.”
Club members can still enjoy use of a swimming pool located just south of the clubhouse, but the main attraction is the golf course, which rolls through the countryside. There are four sets of tees from 5,323 yards for women to 6,599 yards for the longest hitters. New cart paths were added two years ago, the Advocate reported.
“The golf course really hasn’t been touched,” Myles said. “The main improvements have been in the clubhouse. That’s because it doesn’t need to be. It has been along a long time and has provided that challenge year after year.
“It forces you to hit a lot of different shots in your bag,” said Myles. “You can’t just expect to pull out the driver and dominate the golf course with length. You have to think your way around the course. You have to place the ball in the fairway and then you have to do well around the greens. The greens are the heartbeat of the course because they are very challenging. They slope severely from back to front.”
Jason Bernard has been the greens superintendent at High Lands for over a decade. He left the club this past year, but came back as a consultant. The club had an issue with poa annua grass on some of the greens, but Myles said they are steadily improving, the Advocate reported.
“Looking back to last fall, the greens were never aerated,” Myles said. “So we have been dealing with a neglect issue. Courses all over the place and in Ohio had to have attention to detail and be very precise with chemicals.
“Jason is back and he is overseeing laying the chemicals and all of the major things a superintendent needs to do. The last couple weeks, he has helped improve the condition of the golf course. The place is very special to him and you can see that when he talks about it. He wants to get it back to its former glory and even improve on some things.”
Kassel Equity recently hired Andrew Wohlgamuth as the General Manager, and is likely to hire a professional before the start of the 2017 golfing season, Myles said.
Memberships are available in varying ranges, including for single members, families, corporations and social members. The music festival on Friday will feature a concert by the folk rock band Osiella. It will also feature food, refreshments, a bounce house for kids, free popcorn and a putting contest. There is a $10 entry fee and it will cost $20 to enter the cornhole tournament, which will start at 7:30 p.m., the Advocate reported
“We want to open our doors and invite people in because some people don’t even know about the course,” Myles said. “We want them to be able to come and enjoy it out here.”