It is the end of an era. For over 50 years the Marion Country Club has provided a place for the community to gather, play golf, swim and enjoy great fellowship with friends and family and at a reasonable price. Our goal, even under new ownership, is to see that none of that will change. At the annual meeting of shareholders in November 2014 our financial position was reviewed and it was apparent to all that we needed to find a partner that could help us to keep the club open and operating. We are extremely fortunate to have someone who is willing to do just that and under terms that we believe will secure the future of the club for generations to come. Mr. Eddie King is the new owner and although he lives in California where he and his wife Kathy have resided for many years, he grew up in Fredonia, Kentucky. He is well known by several of our members and has played our course several times over the years. When he heard of our needs he immediately stepped forward and said he wanted to help. In fact, he wants to maintain a residence here approximately six months each year and play golf and enjoy the club just like the rest of us.
Mr. King is a modest man and not one to talk about his accomplishments, but I can tell you that he is now, and has been for many years a very successful business man and he has the ability and more important, the desire to give back to the Western Kentucky area where he grew up. He also is an avid golfer and is passionate about providing the means and opportunity to encourage others to play the game.
So what will change?
How are we as members affected by the sale of the club to Mr. King? The number one question so far has been will our dues increase? The answer is no. Mr. King has agreed to keep dues the same for now and in fact initially, he will reduce zone #1 Family dues by approximately $100 per year for the first few years. For those of you who have joined under the discounted sponsored membership program these past two years, we are happy to announce that the program will be continued.
Another question frequently asked is, are we sure it will remain a Country club or can it be sold for some other use or perhaps sub-divided for building lots? The answer is that we are certain it will remain a private club for the use of members. Mr. King is so confident of that fact that he has agreed to give us first right of refusal to buy property back if he or his heirs ever want to discontinue operations of the facility for whatever reason.
Improvements & Moving Forward
Some of you have asked what are his plans for improvements to the facility? As a part of his obligation under the purchase agreement he will make substantial improvements and he is eager to get started. This is where it gets really exciting. Already new equipment for the golf course has been purchased and plans include reseeding the fairways and reworking the sand traps so they will be well groomed and playable this season.
The tee boxes will be leveled and reseeded. New flooring in the downstairs area of the clubhouse including the Pro Shop, lounge, and foyer is being installed as well as paint where needed and upgrading the dining room which will be reopened. A new stone entry along with new fencing around the pool parking lot will be built and the parking lot will get new blacktop. New signs and a marketing plan will be developed as well as a website to help communicate with our members. New shrubs and flowers will be planted to improve the look and feel of the property. These are just a few of the upgrades that will get priority.