If you are a golfer in the Morrow County area, chances are you have seen, heard of, or even played at Pine Lakes Golf Course located just outside Mount Gilead.
Many who have driven past the course this summer may have noticed various mounds of dirt, piping and large equipment.
All of which are part of the links’ construction process what course owners say is a very good sign.
Two seasons ago a Township Trustee for Franklin County, Bob Thomas, decided to make a serious business endeavor and bought Pine Lakes Golf Course.
As a first time golf course owner, Thomas said that it has been a challenge to adapt to the world of golf. While he knows the game, it is an entirely new challenge being the owner of a course.
“This summer has been going really well, it takes me, not really operating a golf course before and taking it over a year ago April, it has its challenges,” he said. “We’re trying to run specials to attract new golfers. We’ve been getting golfers from Columbus, Marion and so forth. But it’s been challenging, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Our staff has been doing a great job and is very familiar with the golf industry, and my wife has been helping a lot.”
At the moment the construction along State Route 95 might not look as good as some would hope, but the good news is that positive change is coming.
To make a course look and play better for golfers, it takes work, and Thomas has been doing just that.
At the beginning of the summer he was told, by the state, that construction was necessary at Pine Lakes because of the improvements being made in the State Park across from his course.
Thomas began leveling the hill on the eighth hole to aid the sewer extension work along the road.
Cooperating fully with the state, this construction has gone smoothly and is now near completion.
Along with the mandatory construction, Thomas also began working on a key feature on the course; the large pond in front of the tee box on the eighth hole.
“We started work on the old pond because, frankly, appearances were horrible. It didn’t look good, and it just needed cleaned out and re-done,” he explained.
The owner of Pine Lakes plans on having this finished soon and will be adding a water feature to it for cosmetic purposes.
A very well-known saying in the business world is, ‘adapt or die.’
And Thomas has been living by this phrase, working to improve Pine Lakes to meet the needs of his members and golfers.
In the offseason Thomas plans on continuing work on all of his current projects, finishing them, finishing tree-trimming and working extensively on many of the sand bunkers located around the course.
When asked what Thomas has thought about the golf course and being a fairly new owner, he responded,
“None of this would be possible without the incredible staffing that we have. I know I said that, but they do a great job. I love doing this, I love our members and getting to talk to them every day, and none of this would be possible without the support of the people in the area and our great staff.”
Construction continues at the edge of the Pine Lakes Golf Course property earlier this summer, as part of a sewer extension project.
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