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  • June 25, 2013

    The Courses at Watters Creek

    The Courses at Watters Creek reflects the City of Allen’s vision to provide top-quality recreational facilities for residents, families and guests; centrally located on Highway 75 on the Allen/Plano border, the inviting and environmentally friendly design by Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design sets the standard for a community golf experience- three courses designed for players of all abilities, all at a competitive value. So, the redesigned venue is not the old Chase Oaks…it’s the new Courses at Watters Creek

    Our newly redesigned 18-hole Traditions course will open for play on January 12, 2013!

    Led by PGA Tour professional D.A. Weibring and acclaimed golf course architect Steve Wolfard, Weibring-Wolfard has in the past renovated and designed two PGA Venues. With a resume that also includes the creation of many of the best resort, daily-fee, public and private courses worldwide, the firm has the experience and the vision to reinvigorate The Courses at Watters Creek, inspiring new players and again capturing the heart of golfers in North Texas.

    For more info or to book your tee time, please call: 214-509-GOLF (4653)

  • February 12, 2013

    Yearlong Renovation

    Bill KirkendallGlen Oaks Country Club completed a front-to-back, top-to-bottom $3 million renovation on May 1, transforming what many considered a “men’s only” money loser into a family-friendly social center at the heart of Iowa’s first gated residential community.

    The club came under new ownership in 2010, emerging from a bank foreclosure, and the new owners have found that you can “solve a lot of problems by writing checks,” said Robert Pulver, one of the owners.

    Pulver, his wife, Ruth, Mark and Jill Oman and Ron and Ruth Pearson turned over rehabilitation of the club to Bill Kirkendall, a former private equity workout specialist who is the CEO of Golf Resources Group Inc. The consulting group was founded in 1987 by his best friend, golf professional D.A. Weibring, who won the PGA Champions Tour tournament held at Glen Oaks in 2004, when it was called the Allianz Championship. The tournament changed sponsorship and became the Principal Charity Classic in 2007.

    All of those checks that Pulver referred to have brought lots of changes, from new doors at the north entrance to a wall of glass extending along the main level of the clubhouse, providing sweeping views to the south. And a new atmosphere has been created, one where the clubhouse can be a gathering spot for members of either sex, and the public can take advantage of enlarged meeting and banquet facilities.

    “Everything has been touched,” Kirkendall said.

    Workers moved the building’s south wall 10 feet, making room for expanded banquet facilities on the main level and the addition of dining rooms and a lounge in the members-only section at ground level. There’s even a wine cellar for members, and the women’s locker room has been opened up from a series of partitioned mini-rooms, with all-new appointments, fixtures and paint – lavender.

    Stone and wood are the chief architectural details throughout the clubhouse.

    The changes have made a difference. Revenues have increased 25 percent, 135 members have been added over the last year and golf memberships are at 390, just 10 shy of the maximum.

    On the course, improvements have been made to the drainage system and the pesky fescue grasses that encroached on the fairways have been tamed, among other upgrades.

    “Right now, the golf course is the best I’ve ever seen it,” Kirkendall said. “The pros are going to see a golf course in almost perfect condition.”

    He might say the same about the clubhouse and the improved fortunes for Glen Oaks Country Club.

    “I think there is endless opportunity here,” Kirkendall said.

    BY KENT DARR, Senior Staff Writer for businessrecord.com

  • July 18, 2012

    Business strong at Metamora Fields

    After opening in December 2010, business has been going great at Metamora Fields.

    “It’s been great,” director of operations Matt Rogers said. “We’ve had a lot of support from the town of Metamora. We had a lot of help from the town board. The golf course, with it being our first full season, we’ve got a lot of play. We’re happy with it.”

    While the clubhouse opened in 2010, the golf course, designed by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard, didn’t open until July 2011.

    The 18-hole course gets several outings during the week, with a lot of long-distance visitors on the weekend.

    “We’ve been drawing crowds and golfers out of Chicago who say it’s cheaper to drive from Chicago and pay the gas and pay our daily fee than it is to play their courses up there, and it’s a course that’s in better shape,” Rogers said. “We have a lot of people coming in from Chicago now, and hopefully we can get into more of that crowd from up there.”

    Inside the clubhouse, Rogers said that Lisa Miller, director of events, and Shay McCayitt, events manager, have done an “unbelievable job” booking the ballroom for most of the year.

    “Now until November 24, every single Saturday is booked in our large ballroom upstairs. We have 42 wedding receptions this year and we have 23 wedding receptions already booked for 2013,” he said. “A majority of our business comes from word of mouth in the banquet world. I’m looking forward to another full season. We also have 10 plus actual ceremonies that take place on our ceremony lawn. It has a great backdrop of the golf course.”

    Also available for the community inside is a restaurant opened daily.

    “Our dinner service has been doing great,” Rogers said. “Last night (July 11) we fed over 150 people at our chicken night. It’s our most popular night. We’d love to keep having people come out for dinner.

    “We also have lunch, but we have a new patio grill menu that features stuff straight off of the grill from outside.”

    Looking towards the future

    While no changes are planned for the clubhouse or golf course, some addition still needs to be made to the residential area that is surrounded by the course.

    “The housing market’s still been a little slow, but there’s a few houses that are starting to pop up,” Rogers said.

    The other big addition Rogers would like to see would be to bring a big name golf tour to the area.

    “It’d be great,” he said. “I think the capabilities of Metamora, without having the hotels, is probably Nationwide or a Champions Tour event. Our course is real similar to Deer Run, which is another course that was designed by D.A. Weibring and Steve Wolfard. They’ve got the John Deere Classic up there getting ready to go.”

    He added that the largest outing the course currently has is the Happy Shooter Classic on Aug. 24.

    “It has two shotguns and upwards of near 200 players,” Rogers said. “It’s to benefit Easter Seals. There are still spots available if anyone is looking to play in it.”

    View Original Article

  • July 17, 2012

    D.A. Weibring gives Metamora Fields a 1-year checkup

    D.A. Weibring stopped in Metamora this week to look at his 18 hole creation, Metamora Fields Golf Course.

  • October 24, 2011

    A Cinderella Story at Glen Oaks CC

    Taken from: http://www.clubandresortbusiness.com/2011/10/11/a-cinderella-story-at-glen-oaks-cc/

    The new owners of Glen Oaks CC not only saved the club from bankruptcy, but also injected much needed life—and capital—into the club’s dining operation.

    If you asked Jeff Strahl, Executive Chef at Glen Oaks Country Club, West Des Moines, Iowa, to tell you the story of dining at Glen Oaks, you’d be hard-pressed not to think of it as something of a Cinderella story.

    “I came to the club seven years ago with a lot of benchmarks that I wanted to achieve,” he says. “We have a really good core of chefs here, but we had to get a better handle on both the business side of things as well as iron out some culinary basics. Over the years, we improved the menu,  the quality of the food and the skill level of the staff, but the facility never saw any change, and was in dire need of a facelift.

    Glen Oaks CC

    Club Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
    Management: Golf Resources Group
    No. of Members: 560
    Average Member Age: 50
    Average Annual F&B Revenue: $2,000,000
    Average # a la carte meals per week: 1,050
    Food Costs: 44%
    Annual Golf Rounds: 20,000
    No. of foodservice employees: 80 (in season)
    A La Carte Kitchen Size: 880 sq. ft.
    Banquet Kitchen Size: 1,760 sq. ft.
    Clubhouse Size: 46,000 sq. ft.

    Unfortunately, the dining room’s desperately needed makeover was a long way off. In 2009, the club and the surrounding homeowners’ association defaulted on a $7.7 million loan. Ultimately, Glen Oaks went up for sale at a sheriff’s auction in April 2010 and a local bank purchased it for $5.25 million, after there were no other bids.

    Throughout the reorganization, the club remained open for business.

    “The chances of upgrading the facility, given the financial situation, were nonexistent,” says Strahl. The bank then brought in a management firm, Golf Resources Group (GRG), to help run the financially strapped property.

    “When I came on board, the property was still owned by the bank, it lacked a true brand identity, and member—and staff—morale had reached rock bottom,” says Bill Kirkendall of GRG, who was brought on as General Manager.

    Finally, Glen Oaks found its prince.

    In October 2010, a group of local investors completed the purchase of the club from the bank for an undisclosed price. The new owners, all of whom live in the Glen Oaks community, came together to acquire the championship golf course and club earlier that summer.

    Their common vision was to restore Glen Oaks to its original design, and make the club a profitable enterprise as well as an appealing venue for the entire community.

    The ownership group decided that GRG would continue to run day-to-day operations and that Kirkendall would continue as General Manager, overseeing all aspects and operations of the club including membership.

    “The new owners saw what a valuable asset this club is to its members and the community,” says Strahl. “They planned to maximize that potential by making appropriate investments to improve the club and make it more appealing.”

    Turning a Pumpkin into a Carriage

    Two of the first steps in optimizing the potential of Glen Oaks CC were a much-needed makeover for the first floor of the clubhouse, specifically the dining room, as well as some upgrades to the 18-hole championship course designed by Tom Fazio.

    “The clubhouse was only 17 years old, but the facilities hadn’t been touched—not even painted—in that time. It was dark and dated and no one wanted to come to the club, despite the quality of our food and service,” says Kirkendall. “We only had one dining room to service all of our members.”

    The new owners, along with Kirkendall and Strahl, worked with a designer to strategize how to reinvent the member dining experience.
    “We lacked a true gathering point in our clubhouse,” says Strahl.

    “We also had no mixed lounge or family dining components,” adds Kirkendall.

    Ultimately, space-planning improvements were made, speaking to both member enjoyment and improved operational efficiency. Existing interior spaces were rearranged and right-sized into comfortable, connected spaces that have an engaging sense of flow and ease of transition.

    The interior design enhancements reflect the contemporary lifestyles of a modern membership, with appropriate elements of style such as comfortable chairs, flat-screen televisions, well-placed lighting and many other rich appointments.

    Looking to serve its members first, the renovation was done only on the first floor of Glen Oaks’ clubhouse, while member dining was temporarily moved upstairs into the banquet space.

    “We are fortunate to have separate a la carte and banquet kitchens,” says Strahl. “There was no disruption to service during the renovation.”

    Ultimately, the project cost $1.3 million dollars and took five months to complete. But when Glen Oaks CC reopened the first floor of its clubhouse, the glass slipper never fit so well.

    Night at the Ball

    Today, Glen Oaks CC boasts three distinct dining options, in addition to its two outdoor dining terraces.

    The family dining room—also known as Bogey’s—features an extensive menu of inventive appetizers and small plates such as Wood-Fired Asiago Salmon, as well as hand-pressed pizzas, salads, spa cuisine (all dishes are under 400 calories), traditional club classics, and more forward-thinking culinary specialties such as Champagne Chicken (view entire menu here).

    The bar and lounge area—also known as The Bunker—features a limited menu of small plates and other dishes geared toward sharing and relaxing. “Every week, we have live entertainment in The Bunker,” adds Strahl. “So the menu here is more relaxed and casual.”

    The adult dining room—aka The Gallery—is Glen Oaks’ formal dining venue. The menu is more cultivated than in the family dining room, and the service is much more meticulous and upscale. “When we train our servers, we start them in the family dining room,” explains Strahl. “Only the best servers work in The Gallery, as the level of service can’t be compromised in that room.”

    With three distinct dining operations for members to choose between, Glen Oaks has seen a surge in member usage.

    “Our F&B sales are up 40%,” says Kirkendall. “We’ve also added 80 new members in just the past year.”

    “The club has truly come full circle,” says Strahl. “All the little worries are gone. Our volume has increased substantially and there is more room for culinary creativity.”

    Managing the increased volume has certainly been a challenge, but Strahl keeps his staff motivated by having each chef prepare a special one night a week. “It’s become somewhat of a competition to see whose special will sell the most,” he says.

    In addition, a new wood-fired oven that was added to Bogey’s has helped to supplement the volume of business, as well as open the lines of communication between the kitchen and the members.

    “The wood oven has been a lifesaver,” says Strahl. “We do more than just pizza in it—we do fish, appetizers and breads, too. The flavor is unmatched, plus the pizza oven is right out in the open, so members can watch the action.”

    Living Happily Ever After

    Even though the F&B operation at Glen Oaks has come full circle, there are plenty of plans for the future.

    “These changes have helped us to meet the needs and lifestyles of our membership,” says Kirkendall. “Our dining and lounge options have increased member and family usage, and given us tremendous tools to grow our membership.”

    The club is also planning a second phase of renovation, which will include an extensive update to the banquet facilities, beginning in January.

    For Strahl, the “happily ever after” is really just another beginning. “All of the pieces have come together,” he says. “Now, we can really push ourselves from a culinary perspective, and enhance the dining experience for our members.”

    View Chef Strahl’s recipes for:

    Crunchy Cornflake Chicken Fingers

    Asiago Salmon with Warm Mustard Dressing

    Almond Crusted Walleye

  • September 1, 2011

    TPC Deere Run named #1 you can play in Illinois by the PGA

    Illinois is home to some of the best golf courses in the nation — public and private. What we wanted to know is which courses do YOU consider the best in the Prairie State — the kind anyone one of us could play.

    Rank #1: TPC Deere Run

    TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill. “Our goal was to build an old-style, traditional golf course and I think we’ve captured that,” says D.A. Weibring, PGA Tour course designer and three-time champion of the Quad Cities tournament on the course’s site. “We wanted to create a course that had memorable holes with dramatic views of the rolling hills and vistas.” Weibring did just that.

    Facebook fan quotes:

    “TPC Deere Run in Silvis Illinois. Home of the John Deere Classic.” — Jack Johnston

    “TPC Deere Run, Silvis.” — Troy Eden

    Read the Full Article here

    by T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer

  • August 16, 2011

    Vision and planning help couple shape the day of their dreams


    Erik and Amanda Perkins had very different ideas for their wedding.

    “I wanted a destination wedding. My husband wanted local,” Amanda Perkins said. “We compromised with an outdoor wedding.”

    They decided to have both ceremony and reception at Metamora Fields. The planning required as much imagination as it did logistics; the large clubhouse wasn’t even built when they booked it.

    “It was just dirt and frame when we visited,” she said. “But they really gave us the plans and the vision. I really trusted them.”

    Even the menu was a leap of faith for the Peoria couple. The first meal they ever ate there was at their reception.

    The Metamora Fields catering staff cheerfully made suggestions when Amanda decided she didn’t want a traditional menu.

    “We got married Memorial Day weekend. And with it being outside, I thought ‘Hey, how about barbecue,'” Amanda said.

    So after the outside ceremony, the guests filled the new ballroom on the second floor of the clubhouse and enjoyed macaroni and cheese, Jamaican jerk chicken and pulled pork. It was a huge success.

    “Everybody who was there ranted and raved about the food,” she said.

    Amanda also ditched the traditional wedding cake. Instead, guests were treated to a lavish display of brightly colored cupcakes.

    That kind of customizing is par for the course, according to Lisa Miller, director of events at Metamora Fields, which opened for business Dec. 1.

    She’s seen quite a few brides opt out of traditional wedding cake and instead ask the Metamora Fields chef for something special.

    One bride next month will be serving each guest mini desserts in little parfait cups. An October bride who is using a fall theme will have pumpkin bars, apple pie and caramel apples at her reception.

    The personalization doesn’t stop at the menu, Miller said. The banquet hall has yet to look the same for two receptions.

    “The decor is neutral. So what we’re seeing is every bride who comes in really makes it her own,” Miller said. “It’s like an artist with an open palette.

    “I tell the brides all the time, ‘You can put your signature on the day.'”

    Amanda was the first bride to book at Metamora Fields. She found she was a little out of her element when it came to finding other vendors nearby, and wasn’t sure an untested staff would be able to make recommendations.

    Not only did the Metamora Fields wedding coordinator suggest vendors for the cupcakes and flowers, but she also arranged a meeting among Amanda, herself and the other vendors, so everything would be coordinated for the big day.

    “They all worked together,” Amanda said. “It took a lot of stress off me.”

    The ballroom can seat 350 guests or can be divided for smaller weddings. Brides and grooms can choose not only their decor, but how they want the reception laid out.

    But one of the most enviable facets of the decor comes courtesy of Mother Nature.

    “Three sides of the ballroom all look out on the golf course,” Miller said. “One side faces west, so you get these wonderful sunsets. It’s truly breathtaking.”

    For Erik and Amanda, who had never visited the facility at night before their wedding, the sunset made for some of their best pictures and memories.

    “People really need to see the view and the windows up there,” Amanda said. “Daytime, nighttime. It’s gorgeous.”


    Metamora Fields

    Address: 801 Progress St., Metamora

    Phone: 367-4000

    Website: www.metamorafields.com

    Maximum capacity: 400

  • August 16, 2011

    Ladies ready to hit the links

    For central Illinois golfers, the wait is almost over.

    Metamora Fields is set for a July 11 grand opening. The 18-hole course was designed by D.A. Weibring and his firm, Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design.

    The clubhouse opened back in December before the course was ready for play, and the Front 9 has been open for a few weeks.

    From the championship tees the entire course will measure about 7,100 yards.

    Work on the course began back in 2009. With eight man-made lakes, plenty of dirt moving, and the planting of roughly 1,000 trees, the work to get Metamora Fields ready to play is finally complete, giving local golfers a new venue to try their luck at.

  • August 16, 2011

    You Gotta Eat Goes To Metamora Fields Clubhouse

    By Tom McIntyre
    July 7, 2011 Updated Aug 11, 2011 at 4:31 PM CDT

    Metamora Fields is just that: In Metamora and on what used to be a cornfield. No longer.

    Now, a D-A Weibring designed golf course surrounds the clubhouse on three sides.

    The restaurant on the clubhouse main floor and the clubhouse itself are designed to look decades, not months old.

    General Manager Dan Budzius told me, “It’s a feel It has a nice sense of poshness, yet it has a sense of home to it. When you walk into it, it’s not overdone, it’s comfortable when you walk in. Our motto is; “where you’re always welcome”.

    Taking a light lunch in the restaurant when I was there were Denny Powers and retired judge Bob Manning.

    Powers said he invited the judge back in February but has got such a busy schedule that we’re just now getting it worked in.

    The retired judge said, ” Denny brought me out, and I’ll pay for it. I had a chicken noodle soup and a half a chicken sadwich and they were great”

    Dan Budzius gave us a tour of the second floor of the clubhouse. That’s where the Sunday buffet lunches are served…and where a lot of weddings receptions are already scheduled.

    There’s plenty of windows…and a balcony overlooking the ninth and 18th greens.

    With that in mind, photographer Larry Foulk and I decided to eat on the patio overlooking the course.

    We decided to start lunch with an order of Philly cheese steak egg rolls. I don’t know thought of this combination..but it’s really good finger food.

    Beef, peppers onions and cheese with a toasted horseradish sauce.

    I had two, Larry says I had three.

    Either way –it was good eating.

    Lunch for me was a grilled mahi sandwich with fries.

    The mahi comes on a bun drenched with a tropical salsa–sweet, not spicy.

    The Mahi was light and flakey–but the salsa makes the sandwich.

    Very nicely done

    Larry had the daily special…a chicken parmesan over fettuccini. It could comfortably feed a small family. Larry pronounced it very good and ate most of it.

    To finish things off, they wheeled out the dessert tray of decadence.

    Larry polished off a Swiss chocolate cake.

    Apparently he has a second stomach someplace.

    I decided to eat healthy and had the carrot cake. It’s a vegetable, right? Like the rest of the meal, it was delicious.

    Our bill, with endless refills of soft drinks, was 48-dollars, 64 cents plus tip.
    Metamora Fields currently serves lunch Wednesday thorough Saturday, 11 to 3 with a Sunday brunch buffet from ten til two.

    However–that changes July 15th, when the back nine of the golf course opens and lunch will be served Monday through Saturday.

    Evening meals remain on a Wednesday to Saturday schedule.

  • August 16, 2011

    Metamora Fields- Back 9 is Open

    The Metamora Fields Golf Club is now entirely open! The back 9 holes opened today with a big outing. Public tee times are available starting Friday. Metamora Fields Director of Golf Jeff Roche gives us a tour of holes #10 through #18.

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