Could Course's Uncertain Future Leave Golfers in the Lurch?
Frankfort's Green Garden Golf Course faces foreclosure, which could force some leagues to scramble to find a new place to tee up.
December in Illinois means temperatures in the single digits and snow on the ground. People are thinking about hitting sledding hills, not hitting golf balls.
But the recent news that First Midwest Bank has filed a foreclosure suit against Green Garden Country Club and its owner William McEnery has left a few area golfers—especially those in leagues—wondering if they'll still be able to tee up at the Frankfort course.
Calls to Green Garden Country Club went unanswered Monday and Tuesday, but a recording said that the clubhouse restaurant was open with winter hours (closed Monday-Thursday and open Friday-Sunday), as was the golf dome and pro shop.
Scott Tierney, who runs the Frankfort Park District Golf League, says he hasn't heard anything official from Green Garden concerning changes in its operation. Along with league play beginning in April, Tierney's organization also sponsors lessons in January at the course.
The league plans at least a month in advance for its activities in order to set dates and prices, Tierney says, and the winter brochure, which advertises the lessons, will be mailed in a couple weeks.
"It would put us in kind of a quandary (if the course closes)," Tierney said, adding that he's taking a "business as usual" approach for the time being.
Of course, that doesn't mean Tierney hasn't been thinking about contingency plans.
"I've been putting feelers out there if we need to move those things to other golf courses," he said.
Bob Gamboa, an organizer for the Mokena Lions Golf League, said he hoped the course was still open in the spring, even with new management. If it did close, he wasn't sure what the league would do.
"Ultimately, it's out of our hands," said Gamboa, who was unaware of the foreclosure suit until he was asked about it. "I've been running it for 20 years, and they automatically renew it for me every spring."
There is an indication that Green Garden could be facing more financial problems. Nadler Golf Car Sales, the Aurora company that leases carts to the course, is still owed money for its services, said owner Dave Nadler. But Nadler wouldn't go into details about dollar amounts or future dealings with Green Garden.
"We've picked up the cars like we do at the end of each season, and they owe us some money, I'll put it that way," he said.