Bear Creek Golf Course, located in Monroe, didn’t always look the way it does today.
The club was purchased from an investment group from Loganville in August 2008. Since then, the club has undergone a series of major renovations in the clubhouse and on the golf course.
The grass was recently changed to champion grass, a type of grass that is more tolerant to the heat of the sweltering summer months. In addition, the bunkers were also remodeled. Ron Palmer, general manager, said the facility will continue to maximize the playability of the golf course over the next few years, as they look into options to expand, like alcohol sales and food services.
“Our investors felt that the course needed to be modernized and updated,” said Palmer, who has been with the golf course since its purchase. “A lot of things needed to be done to make the course more player-friendly; we’ve been working non-stop for the past three years to do that.”
“There are many aspects of the business that surprise you, like the weather,” added Palmer. “It can be your best friend of your worst enemy.”
The facility hosts anywhere from 35 to 55 outside tournaments a year, allowing different local, regional and national organizations to hold a variety of charitable events.
This Saturday, the semi-private facility will host their annual Toys for Tots fundraiser, which is also their largest tournament of the year. Each playing member will be required to bring one unwrapped toy, which will be given to a group of Marines at the end of the evening.
While registration is full for this year’s Toys for Tots competition, and the participation has grown dramatically over the years, starting out with just 12 teams of four. This year, the tournament will have 30 teams competing — maxing out the facility for the first time. Palmer hopes to expand the tournament to two days next year in order to accommodate the demand.
In an effort to get their name out to the public, the golf course has launched a number of aggressive marketing campaigns. They have become partners with the Golf Channel and its Golf Now program, which also hosts the course’s website.
Palmer hopes to see the facility continue to expand and cater to new players over the course of the next few years. Currently, the golf course is offering membership specials through April, including offers for seniors, family and singles memberships.
“One thing we’ve learned is that business will not come to you just out of the blue,” said Palmer. “You have to do something to make a player want to come out here to play. If we can get them to come here to play on the course the first time, they will become a repeat customer.”