ROSSCOMMON – After a four-year hiatus in Wisconsin, Todd Campbell is coming home as general manager of the nationally rated Forest Dunes Golf Club, one of the most celebrated golf courses in Michigan and the Midwest.
For Campbell, the move to Forest Dunes is a natural fit. For 17 years he was a key executive at Garland Resort, just a half-an-hours drive north of Forest Dunes.
During his career at Garland, Campbell had varied responsibilities, serving as director of golf, director of rooms, and assistant director of real estate sales. In each area Garland prospered under his leadership.
The four Garland courses set a resort record of 76,000 rounds played in 2006; the lodge was awarded a coveted AAA Four Diamond rating for hospitality, the only resort in the state to earn that recognition; the real estate division achieved $30 million in sales.
This varied experience will prove valuable at Forest Dunes where new ownership headed by Lew Thompson, a trucking executive from Arkansas, has big plans to develop the club into a top golfing and residential destination.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Todd’s stature on our staff,” Thompson said. “We interviewed several very good candidates before deciding on Todd, and we were surprised to see how many outstanding general manager candidates there were in northern Michigan.”
Campbell, interviewed on his way to his first assignment for Forest Dunes, last weekend’s Grand Rapids golf show, said he’s ready to get to work.
“I’m very excited to get back to Michigan and to have this opportunity at Forest Dunes in my old stomping ground,” Campbell said. “We have a wonderful golf course, a 30-acre lake, and easy access of I-75. When you change jobs you have to look closely at the product, and the golf course is the product at Forest Dunes. In my 39 years I’ve been lucky enough to play some of the top course in the country and Forest Dunes is one of the top two or three I’ve ever stepped on.”
Campbell said he intends to build on Forest Dunes’ reputation for excellent service, the magnificent 22,000-square-foot clubhouse, and the award-winning 7,141-yard course designed by former British Open champion, Tom Weiskopf.
He said his most urgent task will be bringing the restaurant up to the high standards of the rest of the club. He said the restaurant will focus on providing the best in seasonal local cuisine.
“We will get the food and beverage up to a level I expect, that Lew expects, and most importantly what the golfers who come here expect from a first-class operation,” he said.
He will also oversee the construction of a 22-room inn that will be adjoining to the club’s Adirondack-styled clubhouse. Thompson said he hopes to complete all the legal work and obtain approvals from Roscommon County officials to break ground by June and complete the structure later this year. He said the facility should be ready to go next spring.
The clubhouse already has a spa, an exercise area, member’s locker rooms, the full service restaurant, and a separate bar and lounge. In addition there are seven luxury cottages that will be available to accommodate golfers and visitors.
Campbell comes to Forest Dunes from the Spring Brook Resort in Wisconsin Dells where he was the general manager since 2009. At Spring Brook he supervised five departments including sales and marketing, food and beverage, golf, and real estate sales, areas he will direct at Forest Dunes.
Lew Thompson, the new owner of Forest Dunes, is also the managing member of a partnership that owns and operates The Bridges Golf & Country Club in Montrose, on Colorado’s Western Slope. It is halfway between Grand Junction and Telluride. That club features a Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Members will have reciprocal playing arrangements at both clubs.
Forest Dunes is ranked at 45 on Golf Magazine’s list of the nation’s Top 100 courses. Readers of Golf World magazine selected it as the top public course in the country. It is No. 18 on Golf Digest magazine’s list of the 100 greatest public courses in America, and is a perennial choice on Golf Week’s list of their top 100 modern courses in the country. The 1,300-acre club is located within the 40,000-acre Huron National Forest.
For more information go to www.forestdunesgolf.com.