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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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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

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  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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