Under new ownership and management, the 50-year-old golf course in Yukon, Okla., is getting a facelift after falling into disrepair over the past 10 years. The new team has added bunkers, built a pond, widened the creek and remodeled on-course restrooms.
An established old neighborhood in Yukon, Okla., has been undergoing a quiet transformation with new additions and development phases, and, more recently, a facelift for the 50-year-old golf course that anchors it, the Oklahoman reported.
Surrey Hills, founded in 1965, was a sellout success as a housing development in its early years. But its namesake golf course, a private club through the 1970s and 1980s, fell into neglect. By the 1990s the housing additions that surround it were fading, too, the Oklahoman reported.
Enter CCDC Inc., a development company led by Joe Love, Michael Love and Claud Cypert, who in 1999 came in to reinvigorate the overlooked course, while developing housing lots on nearly 1,200 acres in the area, the Oklahoman reported.
“When we came, sunflowers were growing in the fairways,” Michael Love said.
Homeowners at the time were taking turns mowing greens and tee boxes, Love said, as their beloved course slipped, its former management mired in bankruptcy. Over a six-year period, the course was nursed back to health. In 2005, having achieved their goal while adding hundreds of new houses in additions that abut the course, they sold the golf course and its clubhouse, the Oklahoman reported.
Housing growth continued for a decade, driven in large part by the Loves’ and Cypert’s continued focus on developing the land they owned in the area. Joe Love died in 2007. By 2013 another bout of poor management was threatening the golf course’s viability, the Oklahoman reported.
It worked before, so Michael Love and Cypert tried it again, repurchasing the club “with the goal of making The Golf Club at Surrey Hills great again,” Love said.
With an eye on excellence, Love said he started at the top, hiring Mark Fuller as General Manager and Director of Golf. Fuller, formerly at Oak Tree Country Club, rounded out his golf management team with head PGA pro Jeff Tucker and superintendent Mike Breitigan, the Oklahoman reported.
“The golf course has always been good,” Fuller said. “It just wasn’t maintained and kept up like it needed to be over the past 10 years.”
“This is not the Surrey Hills Golf Club many know and remember,” Breitigan said. “This is becoming a true championship golf course and first-class facility.”
Love pointed out that although they’ve added bunkers, built a pond, widened the creek and remodeled the on-course bathrooms, the approach isn’t so much a redesign as “an emphasis on improving what’s here,” the Oklahoman reported.
“If you just maintain, you’re going backward. We can only (take the course) forward by improving, not just maintaining,” he said.