The massive makeover of the CC of Beloit into The Beloit Club and the financial turnaround that followed it are starting to gain recognition nationally.
The club received the first-place honor for most improved among private clubs from Golf Inc. magazine. It was one of 10 courses recognized by the magazine in its November/December issue for improved business operations and customer amenities in an increasingly difficult financial climate.
"The Beloit Club was like many private clubs after the recession," Jack Crittenden, the story's author, wrote of The Beloit Club. "The 107-year-old facility in Beloit, Wis., was showing its age and in desperate need of a remodel. But with membership dropping, it lacked the resources to make capital improvements. It was in a death spiral."
The magazine documented how Diane Hendricks, the owner and co-founder of ABC Supply, bought the course in 2014 and invested more than $15 million in course renovations and a new clubhouse. The club hired Oliphant Golf to handle the renovation of the course, which included removal of some 500 trees and lengthening the layout by 200 yards in addition to work on bunkers and tee boxes.
In addition to the clubhouse, The Beloit Club added a swimming pool complex, a cart barn and maintenance facility. It also put in areas for bocce ball, bag toss and FootGolf.
"We changed the name from country club to The Beloit Club in order to get away from the stereotype of what a country club is," Beloit Club general manager Kent Instefjord told the magazine. "We play modern music and offer a lot of fun activities so we can attract young people."
The result? Membership increased from 115 to 395 with 40 percent of them playing golf -- a big reason why The Beloit Club stood out in the Golf Inc. competition for most improved facility.
The Beloit Club beat out The Wanderers Club in Wellington, Florida, the Newport Beach (California) CC, the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) CC and PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida for the honor. Tapatio Springs Resort Course in Borne, Texas, earned the honor among public courses, topping a list that included upper Midwest facilities in Ada, Michigan (Quail Ridge GC) and Romeoville, Illinois (Mistwood GC).
"Its members reached out to the wealthiest people in the area in hopes of getting the money the club so desperately needed to turn things around," Crittenden wrote. "Just two years later, the private club is a shining example of what vision, good management and hard work can do to turn a once-struggling golf facility into a financial breadwinner."