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Face-lift nearly complete at Eagle Creek golf courses

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Eagle Creek Golf Club received a long-awaited face-lift this year under a contract that will rescue the city from most of its expenses stemming from the previous operator’s loan default.

The new operator, T&M Eagle Creek, took over Jan. 1 and said it would take two years to get through a long list of capital improvements, but 95 percent of them are already complete, said Kent Knorr, manager of golf operations for Indy Parks.

“We got a lot of compliments this year,” said Eagle Creek golf pro Matt Parrott. The major improvement was resurfacing cart paths on each of the two 18-hole courses.

T&M is a partnership of golf operator R.N. Thompson and Mays Chemical Co. owner Bill Mays. The company also replaced railroad ties throughout the Pete Dye-designed courses, fixed irrigation systems and landscaping, and remodeled the driving-range building, Knorr said.

Indy Parks has been trying to make major upgrades at Eagle Creek since 2007, when the city gave former operator Jerry Hayslett a seven-year contract after he agreed to make $1.2 million in improvements.

The city cancelled Hayslett’s contract in March 2011 after he defaulted on a $3.5 million loan balance, which had been guaranteed by the city.

R.N. Thompson was appointed interim operator, and his partnership with Mays was awarded a contract through 2019. T&M has reimbursed the city for $247,000 in 2011 loan payments, Indy Parks CFO Angela Daniel said.

Indy Parks was left with $214,794 in loan payments, which are due through 2014.

Future payments should be covered by the contract with T&M, which will pay $220,000 a year, plus additional fees if golf course revenue surpasses a certain threshold, Daniel said. This year, the operator is paying a $20,000 escalator fee.

The golfing public appears to have taken notice of the changes at Eagle Creek. There were 51,375 rounds played on the two courses through October. That’s a 40-percent increase over last year.

Revenue through October was $1.3 million, a 16-percent increase over 2011.

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  • Love the course
    RN Thompson always leaves a positive mark on golf courses. This is my favorite public course in Indy. I play Bearslide, Pergatory, Brickyard, The Fort, etc...The Pines and the Sycamore courses at Eagle creek have mature trees, no housing developments, big open holes with no exposure to other golfers. Virtually a perfect golfing experience. Also have undulation and elevation changes not found anywhere else north of Bloomington. The only two shames: 1. Is when it was transformed years ago from a single 18 to two 18's, they added holes to the course and did not maintain the Pete Dye signature to the newer holes. What is left is a somewhat easy patch in the middle of a difficult and pretty course. Hope they address that in the next year. 2. The snack bar has limited options and no healthy options available. No cart girls either. Great courses all around, and can't beat the price too.
  • Eagle Creek
    Eagle Creek is a lovely course and home to the Pike Lady Red Devils and Red Devils golf teams. They are very fortunate to have this course to play. I enjoyed walking and driving the course while my daughter played this season.

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