OB Sports took over management of Mt. Graham Municipal Golf Course in Thatcher, Ariz., on May 10, and has since begun renovating the food and beverage facility for a new restaurant. Troon has been selected to operate The Reserve Club at Woodside in Aiken, S.C., which is undergoing a 17,000-sq. ft. expansion of its clubhouse.
Management of the Mt. Graham Municipal Golf Course in Thatcher, Ariz., was turned over to Scottsdale-based OB Sports Golf Management on May 10 after being unanimously approved by the Safford City Council the previous night, the Safford (Ariz.) Eastern Arizona Courier reported.
“I believe it will be a great opportunity for us to take advantage of some real expertise,” Safford Mayor Chris Gibbs said. “They’ve got legitimate capabilities (and) a real interest in helping us. We’re actually very fortunate to be able to hire that high quality a company.”
The council approved a three-year management contract that will pay OB Sports a yearly fee of $42,000 to manage all of the course’s operations, including employees, facility maintenance and agronomical practices, marketing, membership sales, golf shop, and food and beverage, the Courier reported.
The course will be open seven days a week with seasonal hours. Currently, the hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Employees with the course will be contract employees with the city, and almost all of the city employees currently working the course will remain there, according to Gibbs, but their employment will ultimately be up to OB Sports, the Courier reported.
Safford native Phil Green is the chief operating officer for OB Sports. He said he had a personal interest to help recover the course to its former glory, the Courier reported.
“We’re appreciative of the opportunity to help restore Mt. Graham Golf Course to the level the residents of the community will be proud,” Green said in a press release. “From a personal perspective, I was born and raised in Safford, and this golf course introduced me to the great game of golf, which has led to an exciting career in the golf industry. I am extremely excited to work on this project with the rest of the OB team.”
OB Sports previously had a five-month contract with the city to provide consulting services as the city transitioned from taking back operations of the course from Springbok Development LLC. According to OB Sports’ own projections, the city could expect to see a $214,457 net loss over the course of the year. Gibbs said he is hoping the projection is at the high end of the spectrum but that it is still a much better situation due to the management company, the Courier reported.
“We obviously wouldn’t even consider them (OB Sports) if we thought they were at the same level (as Springbok),” he said. “We feel like apples to apples doesn’t exist. These guys are far and above the bigger experts in the field of golf course operation.”
Since taking back management of the course, the city and OB Sports have made numerous improvements to the course and facilities, including gutting and renovating the food and beverage building in anticipation of a new restaurant. Currently, a food truck named Nana’s Kitchenette provides food and beverage service at the course, with daily specials such as a $5 cheeseburger basket, the Courier reported.
The changes have not gone unnoticed as memberships continue to increase at a rate of more than 19 per month, and the course surpassed its projected revenue for fiscal year 2015-16 by the end of April, with two months still remaining, the Courier reported.
Troon has been selected to manage The Reserve Club at Woodside in Aiken, S.C.
The Reserve Club at Woodside is a private club within Woodside Plantation. Members and guests have access to two championship golf courses, The Reserve and Hollow Creek. The Reserve course is an 18-hole Nicklaus Design which boasts 7,352 yards of rolling terrain, manicured fairways and picturesque vistas. The Hollow Creek course, designed by Masters and U.S. Open Champion Fuzzy Zoeller and architect Clyde Johnston, offers a challenging 10-hole championship layout with numerous elevation changes, forced carries, scenic views and the best three finishing holes in the area.
“The Reserve Club at Woodside is an exceptional private facility with an outstanding reputation and a highly active and engaged membership,” said Carl Bielstein, vice president, Troon. “We are honored to be working with this highly revered club and are confident that our management practices, member programming and dedication to service will elevate the members’ experience and take the club to a new level of excellence.”
In addition to golf, The Reserve Club offers outdoor recreational amenities that include six Har-Tru tennis courts; three Pickleball courts; croquet and bocce ball; resort pool and cabana; community parks and greenspace areas; state-of-the-art fitness facility; walking, hiking and biking trails and more. Members also may enjoy a calendar full of social activities and events ranging from the popular Friday Pub Club, Gardening Club, and Green Egg Club to bourbon tastings, Sunday brunch, Chef’s cook-off, movie night as well as live music and dancing.
At the center of the club is the 9,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, where members may enjoy casual indoor and outdoor dining or live music in the piano bar, along with access to banquet rooms, meeting rooms, locker rooms and a fully-stocked golf shop. The club is currently undergoing a 17,000-sq. ft. expansion project which is scheduled to open this summer. This new addition will offer members a new Bistro, Chef’s viewing area, three ballrooms, sports bar, outdoor pavilion, library, card room, brides’ room, meeting space, activities room and more.