West Michigan Golf Clubs Integrate Operations


Thousand Oaks Golf Club of Grand Rapids and Watermark Properties — including Watermark Country Club in Cascade, StoneWater Country Club in Kentwood and Sunnybrook Country Club in Grandville — will integrate operations Oct. 1 to provide members a foursome of private golf courses.

The combined operation, which will be managed by Watermark Properties and Thousand Oaks, will result in Thousand Oaks Golf Club changing from a semi-private facility to a private golf facility on Jan. 1.

“Thousand Oaks will transition smoothly into the Watermark business model of great private golf facilities, with restaurants to serve both members and the public,” says Craig Smith, COO of Watermark Properties. “We believe the result of this partnership, combining four country clubs and the restaurant operations, will result in the best golf club and dining experience for members and patrons in the West Michigan area.”

Starting Oct. 1, the golf members of the four courses will have access to any of the clubs. Thousand Oaks currently has private members in addition to offering high-end daily fee access to the golf course.

“We have a strong belief in partnership and we take a long-term view,” says David Mehney, managing partner at Thousand Oaks. “This merger allows us to join with a strong group and build on what our team has created at Thousand Oaks.  Together we’ll have something nobody else can offer.”

The combined operations include the Acorn Grille restaurant and Event Center at Thousand Oaks. Members of the four clubs will receive food and beverage discounts at the Acorn Grille, as well as the restaurants in the celebrated RedWater Restaurant Group, a sister company of Watermark Properties. Those restaurants include Cork Wine and Grille, Vintage Prime and Seafood, Rush Creek Bistro, FireRock Grille, Reds on the River and Gravity Taphouse & Grille.  Smith says there will be investment in the restaurant and dining facilities at Thousand Oaks as a result of the transaction, but no anticipated changes in staff.

“Watermark Properties and Thousand Oaks Golf Club remain committed to continuous improvement in all four operations, while providing more opportunities for our members to receive greater value from their membership,” he says.

The centerpiece in the merger is the Thousand Oaks golf course, an award-winning 18-hole championship layout designed by renowned architect Rees Jones. Golf Digest has awarded the course 4 ½ stars, and ranks it among the top 25 courses in Michigan.