After years of changes at the Woodland Hills Golf Course, from ownership to appearance, members of the Chamber of Commerce and the community celebrated another accomplishment with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently completed clubhouse.
“This is what a community can do when they set their sights to work together to make something nice and better in Fort Scott,” City Manager Dave Martin said of the clubhouse as well as the entire golf course project.
Martin said he first heard suggestions when he entered his position in 2010 that the city should purchase the golf course to keep it from going to waste or getting in worse shape. Others advised the city not get involved, but when no one else stepped up, Martin said the community should raise money if they agreed the city should become the owners. Members of the community responded by raising about $350,000.
Martin and Fort Scott Director of Finance Jon Garrison expressed appreciation to a number of people who played key roles in raising that funding and making the golf course improvements and changes a reality.
With the funding available, the city made the purchase and then a variety of improvements were made as the city worked to improve the appearance of the course as well as its marketing, adding PGA Tour professional Shannon O’Neill as the clubhouse manager in the last month.
“I’m very happy to be here,” O’Neill said, saying he looks forward to adding even more services to the golf course such as through a driving range and giving lessons.
Already, O’Neill said they have started taking steps to create a new scramble league that could meet Tuesday nights starting in May. A scramble event will also be held over the Memorial Day weekend. Over the next couple months, other businesses and organizations in Fort Scott will also hold fundraising tournaments at the course.
“The product is good,” O’Neill said of Woodland Hills. “It’s a good golf course…There’s something worthwhile here to sell.”
The new clubhouse is another accomplishment that adds to that product, as it offers a place even for non-golfers to spend time and purchase drinks. The old clubhouse was demolished in the past month with just rubble remaining.
“Congratulations to the city and the entire community for the wonderful facility,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said. “Get out and enjoy it.”