Last Sunday (Valentines Day), I was approached in my office by Jack Holiday, one of our club's wealthiest members, who claimed he wanted to discuss a potential business opportunity. When a guy who owns 4 Jimmy Johns locations between here and Topeka comes to you wanting to talk business, it gets your attention.
Little did I know at that moment it was a discussion that could change my life.
Like me, Jack can't stand our GM Chip Kennedy. There's a variety of reasons but it mainly stems from an incident 2 summers ago when Chip suspended Jack's teenage son (Gavin) for shitting in the pool on a dare, during one of the club's monthly "Dive-in Movies."
Jack explained that he understood my desire to leave the club and shared in my confusion that I have not landed a top-tier head pro position yet, but that it may not matter now.
Jack then told me to brace myself.
He then went on to say that he has two business partners that have acquired a piece of property (via public auction) in a tax abatement zone where they want ME to design, build and run a new semi-private golf course. (Site Image Below)
This amazing piece of property sits on the former site of the now demolished Indian Springs Shopping Mall, which went out of business in 2002 due to rampant crime and general neighborhood blight. The property butts right up against busy Interstate 635 to the East and a working class neighborhood to the West. Jack told me in no uncertain terms that this is my canvas, and he wants me and my team to paint a masterpiece.
Yes, this is really happening.
Jack and his two partners (who I am yet to meet) have offered to loan me seed money at prime plus 6% to get the project off the ground. After that I will repay the loan plus share in the revenue and ownership (blah blah blah etc etc). All the financial details and commitments are in a 6" thick binder Jack gave me that I don't have time to read word for word. The financing aspect of this project will take care of itself. Right now we have a golf club to build.
Obviously this is a lot to take in and people have a ton of questions right now. I will address them all in the coming weeks/months, but here are a few I wanted to address right away....
1. Will I stay at my current job during the design/construction phase of the new club?
Yes. I'm not about to walk away from $42K/year when I can easily do both jobs at once. Will I be putting forth much effort in my current job? No. But the bottom line is I need the income and plan to juggle both for at least the foreseeable future.
2. Who will you tap to design the new course?
I've already reached out to Hank Jones (who designed the club I'm currently at) via text and he immediately committed to the project. Huge get for our team.
3. Who's coming with you?
* Miguel for sure. For two main reasons...... 1) He lives very near the proposed property and 2) He's the best Goddamn Superintendent in the Midwest.
* My head marshal Darrell Bevins AND his assistant Carl Brubaker will be coming as well. With the course being in a high crime area, their efforts will be more critical than ever.
* I DM'd Anastasia on Instagram to ask if she would come but no answer yet because she is still in Cabo with her boyfriend Derrick. The contract extension she recently signed with the club only runs through 2021 so she will be a free agent by the time our new club is built.
* Ernesto is also committed.
4. What is the name of the new club?
That is TBD
5. What type of membership will you be attracting?
This is going to be a "players" club. Our ideal member will be someone who carries a 12-18 index but can play to an 8 when it matters. Not only will I be recruiting high profile amateur players here locally, but with the property so close to an Interstate, I plan to offer National Memberships as well. The long term vision is to either build cabins/cottages on site or make rental homes available to National Members in the adjacent neighborhood.
I'd also like to host a KornFerry Tour event or an LPGA/Symetra Tour event within the first 2 years of opening.
Once our deal is consummated, I plan on having a press conference to formalize this announcement and answer more of your questions. Until then, I have a lot of work to do and look forward to creating THE premier golf club in the midwest.