STANFORD — A local country club now officially has a well known new golf developer who says he is intent on adding it to a growing list of central Kentucky courses he has acquired and turned around.
The stockholders of the Dix River Country Club had voted in February to sell the struggling operation to Danny McQueen of Nicholasville and Steve Coleman of Lexington; however the sale was not made final until last month. According to the deed records, C&M Golf LLC purchase the roughly 140 acres on U.S. 127 between Stanford and Lancaster for about $327,000.
Cliff-Ed Irvin, a Lancaster real estate developer and stockholder of the club who was involved with negotiating the deal, said McQueen and Coleman also agreed to assume the club's debt in the deal. The 88 stockholders, a majority of whom had voted for the deal, were given the option of receiving a credit for dues to the club over the next two years or getting $1,000 options for their stock.
Dix River, which includes the 18-hole course and a swimming pool, had been private until opening up the course to the public during the week last year. McQueen said course will remain semi-private in the foreseeable future and is currently open for outside play.
In February, the chairman of Dix Rivers' board of directors, Scott Montgomery, told the Advocate-Messenger membership at the club had declined in part because of the economy and the increase in competition for people's discretionary income. What had been about 400 members 10 years ago had dropped to 136 this year.
"They did an excellent job maintaining the golf course," said McQueen, who doesn't expect to make any drastic changes to the course right away. "
McQueen, a former golf pro and the golf coach at the University of Kentucky, has developed a reputation for both building new courses and taking over struggling ones. Peninsula Golf Resort in Garrard County is one of the six other courses in central Kentucky he has a stake in.
While McQueen said the current membership will likely dip, he wants to build it back up to between 100 and 150 and attract between 5,000 and 10,000 outside rounds. Overall he said 12,000-15,000 rounds per year would be ideal, compared with about 8,700 that were played last year.
Golfers will be able to purchase an "MVP card" which rewards customer loyalty by giving them a significant discounts off rounds at Dix River and many of McQueen's other operations. The pool was in need of some repairs, but it will also remain open.
McQueen said keeping the course going is important for keeping the sport going in area.
"The main thing we're interested in is trying to make the golf club work and keeping it open for the community," McQueen said. "There is really a need for a course like this."
The current management of the course and most other employees will stay in place, McQueen said.
The country club was formed in the mid 1960s as a nine-hole course with initial investments from 150 stockholders from Lincoln County and 150 stockholders from Garrard County. Another nine holes and swimming pool were added in the early 1970s.