Three weeks after members found clubhouse doors padlocked, the Greensboro, N.C., club has reopened under new management, which hosted complimentary cookouts over the weekend and waived cart fees.
A new management team has taken charge of Forest Oaks Country Club after weeks of uncertainty, the Greensboro (N.C.) News-Record reported.
Integrity Golf reopened the Greensboro, N.C., facilities on May 2, almost three weeks after the club’s previous managers, ES2 Sports & Leisure, filed for bankruptcy and padlocked the operation, the News-Record reported.
“It’s new leadership and they look like a very professional crew,” club member Dale Sartin said. “These guys know what they are doing, compared with the last group that didn’t know a thing about it.”
Integrity Golf hosted complimentary cookouts over the weekend for members and waived the $20 cart fee for golfers, the News-Record reported.
Integrity Golf is based in Florida where the rest of the courses it operates are located, including one owned by Forest Oaks’ majority shareholder, Nisshin Corp. of Tokyo. That connection with Nisshin apparently led to Integrity Golf’s selection to resuscitate Forest Oaks, which did not go bankrupt but was caught in the legal crossfire between ES2 and its creditors, the News-Record reported.
During the 17 days it was closed, members who also live in the Forest Oaks community worried not only about the future of their recreational mecca, but also a neighborhood asset that bolsters their home values and builds camaraderie, the News-Record reported.
“We were scared to death,” said Forest Oaks resident and club member Rickey Long.
The clubhouse and golf course reopened by permission of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for North Carolina’s middle district, which put only a few constraints on the new group’s operations. The court prohibited the club from reopening its swimming pool and from selling any of ES2’s merchandise in the pro shop, because the shop goods are an asset in the sport group’s ongoing bankruptcy case, the News-Record reported.
Forest Oaks golf pro Ryan Winfree said that although the shelves are bare now, Integrity Golf will soon restock them. “I’ll have the shop completely stocked with the balls, the gloves, all the good stuff,” Winfree said.
Winfree said golfers flocked this weekend to the course. “We had over 80 rounds (of golf) played on both days.”
Winfree, who’s been pro at Forest Oaks since 2008, said the club reopened as a semi-private facility, meaning that it is now open to non-member golfers although members have priority for tee times and a variety of other privileges. He hopes to reopen the pool around Memorial Day, the News-Record reported.
Last month, members found locked doors at what had been the Proehlific Club at Forest Oaks with no advance warning or explanation. The new managers contacted members personally, sharing information with them about what’s on the horizon and invited them to visit this weekend, the News-Record reported.
“People are coming out who are members and who had just not been coming around anymore,” member Dave Baker said. “That’s great to see.”
ES2 operated a fitness center in the area that formerly housed the country club’s ballroom, but Winfree said the exercise center is being dismantled, the News-Record reported.
“They’re bringing back the ballroom to bring that social aspect of the club back,” he said.
Club members also were impressed, Forest Oaks resident Baker said, that five of Integrity Golf’s top managers spent most of the weekend on site to meet them and offer reassurances their country club would see much better days ahead, the News-Record reported.
“Just the fact that all of them are here, that tells you a lot,” he said.