McFeely Blog: Detroit Country Club Delays Troon Management Decision – InForum


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FARGO — The Detroit Country Club will remain under local management a little longer than its board had hoped.

The Detroit Lakes golf course in Minnesota will refrain from hiring Troon, an Arizona-based national management company, to manage its operations until at least the spring, if it decides to go that route.

In December, the DCC Board of Directors presented a proposal to the city that Troon would take over management of the Detroit Country Club.

. The 36-hole facility and clubhouse which includes a pro shop and restaurant/bar are open to the public and owned by the City of Detroit Lakes. It works like a 501(c)(3). Chairman of the board Sam Rufer, citing the golf course’s growth, said he was skeptical about hiring an outside company to handle things “but the deeper we dug into it… the more it seemed be the best option.”

But local newspaper and website DL-Online reported this week that DCC Treasurer Blake Jacobus told the Detroit Lakes City Council finance committee that the potential management deal with Troon would be put on hold.

until they can hold a public meeting with their members to get feedback. Jacobus expects this meeting to be held in the spring.

The DCC board had hoped to hire Troon to manage the two golf courses and clubhouse in time for the start of the golf season in April.

In other news related to the operation of CDC,

the club advertised for a restaurant manager from April to October

. If CDC were to hire Troon, he would operate the clubhouse restaurant/bar, so the board gives the impression that he will try local management in the short term.

The idea of ​​having the golf courses run by a national company had become a mini-kerfuffle in the country town of the Lakes, about 50 miles east of Fargo-Moorhead. A longtime member

wrote a letter to the editor raising questions

on the wisdom of such a move and other members have been voicing their concerns behind the scenes.

One of the biggest concerns was Troon’s business management style, which longtime DCC golfers believed would hurt the local vibe of the facility.

Others opposed to a Troon takeover believed the board members had ulterior motives, such as gaining access to Troon facilities in other parts of the country or kicking out the long-time professional. PGA club date Mark Holm.

Rufer responded to the critics with a lengthy email

and Facebook post

to members which included the following passage:

“I know a lot of you have heard a lot of rumors about Troon Golf. That they will come and gut the course. That they will double the prices. That they will ruin the culture and make it a corporate course. And many Believe me the board has heard all of this before and had many of the same concerns ourselves It was part of our hundreds of hours of due diligence and extensive negotiations with Troon I can make sure none of this is true. Whatever rumors you may have heard about what Troon did to a class in another part of the country, they are simply unfounded.

It appears that after some public backlash, the council changed its tune and said all the right things. Are they sincere when hearing the concerns of members and the public? That remains to be seen. But it seems that if the council wanted to see if a local solution could work, it would put the Troon issue on hold for the whole summer and come back in the fall after trying local management.

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