James Brown, Greg Ortman and Tony Augustine bought the 18-hole golf course, Arnold Palmer’s first, in Central City, Pa., for an undisclosed amount, with plans to rename it Golf Club at Indian Lake. More details about changes to the property will be discussed in the coming weeks.
For James Brown and business partners Greg Ortman and Tony Augustine, the purchase of the 18-hole Indian Lake Golf Club in Central City, Pa., Arnold Palmer’s first golf course, wasn’t just a financial decision—it was an emotional one, because it was about preserving a “little piece of Arnie,” the Somerset, Pa., Daily American reported
“This course is all about strategy,” Brown said of the Palmer-designed course—the first of 300 he created during his career before dying last year. “It’s a game of chess.”
Brown, Ortman and Augustine—operating under an LLC called GCIL Partners—announced their agreement with the Indian Lake Golf Club earlier this week to purchase the course for an undisclosed amount. The trio plan to open the private course as a “premier public resort” and rename it as the Golf Club at Indian Lake, the American reported.
According to Brown, GCIL Partners made their offer immediately after the property was placed on the market in October. Members of the Indian Lake Golf Club accepted the offer in January, but kept the deal quiet until this week, the American reported.
Brown characterized the course as unique and challenging. He said members of the public will appreciate that this isn’t simply another “grip-it-and-rip-it” kind of place. “You get a glimpse of how masterful he was as a player,” he said. “This was Arnie at his finest.”
In 2009, Indian Lake Golf Club honored Palmer during a special ceremony. In his remarks, Palmer said, “It is great to be here. Somerset and Indian Lake are something that I will always remember…This is a great occasion. I am very proud of what has happened here.”
Ortman, the course’s head golf professional for the past two years, said that plans are currently underway to improve the course, clubhouse and restaurant. He noted that his wife, a chef, will be managing food service. “It’s a really nice for for us, professionally,” he said, calling the move to purchase the course the “capstone” on a golf career that’s spanned four decades. “It’s almost like a dream come true.”
A press release sent by Ortman and his group stated that the purchase will be finalized April 30. More specific details about changes coming to the course and its properties are to be discussed during a press conference set to take place in a few weeks, the American reported.
In recent years, the property has been open on occasion to the outside community, but otherwise required a $1,000 initiation fee and other annual costs for new members to join and enjoy the course. The club’s next owners said they will soon unveil new rates for daily visitors as well as membership packages, according to a separate report by the Johnstown, Pa., Tribune-Democrat.