Since 1990, the Forest Creek Golf Course has sat at 99 Twin Ridge Parkway, Round Rock, serving area golfers. In 2015, the city of Round Rock decided to study what could be done with the course, which had deteriorated over time.
The city hired KemperSports Inc., a company that manages golf courses throughout the country, to take over the management of the fairways and facilities in 2017. In the first 100 days, the partnership has made some significant changes.
In terms of the course and grounds, KemperSports implemented service training for all employees, fixed a five-year ongoing leak adjacent to the putting green, replaced various driving range amenities, replaced all course accessories including flags, performed extensive tree trimming and performed a deep clean of the maintenance barn.
That isn’t all, though. As the course moves further into the event industry, KemperSports invested time and money into the food and beverage elements of Forest Creek. The biggest change has come to the grill area, where golfers eat and gather after a round on the green. KemperSports completely replaced the flooring and furniture, purchased a new hot box and ice machine and introduced a new menu.
Major updates were also made to the Forest Room for events and to the veranda with new furniture, paint and flooring.
The club is now regularly running promotions to bring in new customers. One of these promotions is surprising, because of just how little it has to do with golf. Forest Creek is running an active foot golf league, which is essentially a golf tournament played with a soccer ball.
Work still to come
There is more work to do on the golf course before it is finished. Sports Facilities and Operations Manager Brian Stillman said the course still struggles with green compaction, weed infestation and an unruly maintenance equipment graveyard. City Council initially approved a $3.9 million budget to renovate and update the entire course, but these elements have added unexpected costs to the budget.
The city has spent approximately $500,000 so far and will likely spend $1.4 million in fiscal year 2018. Renovations will continue from October to June when the course will be closed.
Stillman said the course is already projected to lose about $350,000 due to the poor condition of the greens.
The course will reopen in August 2018 but will likely sustain an additional revenue loss of $740,000, according to Stillman.
Stillman said the course is projected to break even in the fiscal year 2019, even with the additional need for maintenance.
Ultimately, Stillman would like to position Forest Creek as the preferred golf experience of the city of Round Rock, Dell, the Round Rock Express and visitors to the yet to be built Kalahari resort.
At Thursday night’s City Council meeting, the council voted to approve another contract with KemperSports for further design services and construction management at Forest Creek.