The Kaufman family closed on the sale of the St. Anne, Ill. property in December and began work this spring to gut and renovate the clubhouse and maintain the course grounds. Aside from initial aesthetics, much will remain the same at the par-60 course that has six par-4s and 12 par-3s. “We didn’t want to just come in and make a bunch of changes,” Kamden Kaufman says.
Kamden Kaufman, part of the new family ownership of Shamrock Golf Course in St. Anne, Ill., has his dream job with big plans for the future, the Kankakee Daily Journal reported.
“Working on a golf course was always something I was interested in, but being an owner-operator was a dream, something I would have never thought of,” he said.
Kaufman graduated from Cissna Park (Ill.) High School and then went to Illinois State University where he earned a degree in recreation management, the Daily Journal reported. While at ISU, he completed an internship at Railside Golf Club in Gibson City, Ill. It sparked his interest in golf management.
He worked for five years in the law enforcement field, one of his first passions, and the opportunity to buy Shamrock presented itself late last year, the Daily Journal reported.
“I was looking for a career change,” Kaufman said. “… We saw this for sale, and we looked into it as being a possibility. And it turned into a viable option, especially with COVID the last couple years, golf was really on the uptick.”
In November of last year, the Kaufman family—Kamden’s father, Kent, and his Uncle Bill, bought the course from Matt and Tricia Surprenant, who owned the course for a number of years, the Daily Journal reported. Kent is semi-retired from running his own chemical fertilizer business for 35 years, so Kamden will pretty much manage the course with help from his dad and uncle.
“Basically all three of us used to always golf this course, so [Bill] was the one who first noticed that it was for sale and we started looking into it as a possibility,” Kamden said.
The Kaufmans closed on the sale in December and began work this spring to gut and renovate the clubhouse and maintain the course grounds, the Daily Journal reported. It opened on April 1.
“We’re putting TVs in here, and we’re not going to serve like a full restaurant by any means,” he said. “We hope to have hot dogs and pizzas but not right off the bat.”
The clubhouse, which should be completed in three to four weeks, will offer a variety of soft drinks, beer and water along with snacks, the Daily Journal reported. Kaufman said he’ll be hiring some people to work in the clubhouse once it’s finished. Green fees will remain the same for now.
“We didn’t want to just come in and make a bunch of changes,” Kaufman said. “We knew the clubhouse was in need of changes and the bathrooms.”
Several golfers have been on the course each day, and the Kaufmans want to let the community know that Shamrock is up and running as normal, the Daily Journal reported. Shamrock also has leagues every day.
“We just we want to keep things the same because we know how things went the last few years, and it was great,” Kaufman said. “We don’t want to just come in and make a lot of changes and potentially lose some of that customer base that maybe likes those old things. So we need to kind of feel them out, and we don’t we don’t plan on any big changes.”
Kaufman likes what the par-60 course that has six par-4 holes and 12 par-3s offers the golfing community, the Daily Journal reported.
“I love the course,” he said. “I love the big trees. We’ve gotten some good compliments.”