City terminating contract of Eagle Creek golf manager

The city of Indianapolis is voiding the contract of the manager of Eagle Creek Golf Club after he defaulted on a $3.5 million loan balance.

Jerry Hayslett, who has managed the municipal golf club on West 56th Street since 1999, will no longer be the operator, effective April 1, according to city officials.

The city extended its contract with Hayslett in 2007 for an additional seven years after he agreed to provide $1.2 million in upgrades to the two-course facility.

Those included improvements to the cart barn, cart paths, clubhouse, outdoor rest room and irrigation system, as well as repairs to the 18th hole on the club’s Sycamore Course. Eagle Creek contains two 18-hole courses, The Sycamore Course and The Pines Course.

Jennifer McGilvary, spokeswoman for Indy Parks, said she didn't know whether the city would assume responsibility for the balance of the contract or whether that would fall to a new operator.

“Right now, we’re still exploring all the options,” she said. “Nothing is ruled out.”

Hayslett received a 20-year, $2.5 million loan in 2000, which was refinanced for a larger amount in 2007, according to city documents.

He made a $22,350 payment in February, but has incurred several fees of at least $1,000 each for late payments, city documents show.

Hayslett did not return calls from IBJ Monday morning.

McGilvary at the parks department said the golf course will remain open during the management transition, and golfers “will not notice a difference.”

Hayslett was part of a group that operates other municipally owned courses besides Eagle Creek. He got together in 2009 with two other local professionals to form Capital City Golf.

In the summer of 2009, the city put out requests for proposals to run its 12 courses for the next 10 years. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s administration chose five operators, including Capital City Golf.

The partnership runs A.J. Thatcher Golf Course, where Hayslett already held the contract, as well as Winding River and South Grove.

A source with Capital City Golf told IBJ on Monday afternoon that Hayslett was no longer a part of the partnership.

The city left Eagle Creek out of the bidding process in 2009 because Hayslett expanded the course in 2007 and had a contract that runs through 2014.

Two years ago, when the proposals were sought, Ballard’s office was looking for new ways to cover looming expenses. Indy Parks, which has been responsible for upgrading its golf courses, faced an estimated $5.7 million in deferred maintenance costs.

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