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City of Jacksonville Golf Courses

People who regularly played Northeast Florida courses in the early ’90s called Bent Creek a “hidden gem.”

BACKGROUND

People who regularly played Northeast Florida courses in the early ’90s called Bent Creek a “hidden gem.” The 6,600-yard, par 71 layout requires accuracy from serious golfers and a little more practice for average players. The low greens fees, plus the scenic yet challenging layout drew locals and visitors alike. Over time, Bent Creek needed new ideas, and to city leaders that meant new management. Enter Indigo Golf Partners.

IMPLEMENTATION

The first order of business: re-branding the course with a new name – from Golf Club of Jacksonville to Bent Creek – calling attention to the winding creek that is the course’s trademark.

  • Indigo Golf Partners' agronomy team went to work to present a more manicured look. Within a short period of time, Bent Creek qualified as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
  • A refreshed, state-of-the-art, lighted practice facility and the Bent Creek Golf Academy provided an attractive draw for day trippers and locals who are serious about improving their games.
  • Every existing and new employee participated Indigo Golf Partners' proprietary ACE the Guest Experience™ training program to ensure golfers enjoy helpful, attentive, and friendly staff.
  • A stronger outing sales approach brought substantially more visitors (and revenue) to the course.
  • Aggressive marketing campaigns delivering powerful messages drew golfers out of the woodwork.
  • Player development programs for juniors and women reinforced the city’s mantra of “community.”
  • A new Player’s Pass offered locals a way to experience Bent Creek at an unbeatable value.

RESULTS

There was an immediate financial spike in the first year of Indigo Golf Partners management: the facility realized a 20% revenue increase over prior year. Capital Improvements were made for the benefit of all.

In 2017, after years of success at Bent Creek, the City of Jacksonville again looked to Indigo Golf Partners for expert management. Brentwood Golf Course, a nine-hole facility, was home to the First Tee of North Florida. It was struggling financially, and the City could not absorb additional losses as part of the recreation fund. Indigo Golf Partners stepped-in limiting the City’s financial exposure and securing the facility for future use by The First Tee.

In 2020, the City of Jacksonville again approached Indigo Golf Partners. This time it was to renovate and re-open Blue Cypress Golf Club – its third and final course. Indigo Golf Partners is in the process of revitalizing this defunct asset, providing another low-cost recreational opportunity for the local taxpayers.

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About the Author
With 30 years’ experience in golf, Mike oversees Indigo Golf Partners growth plans and specific lease, acquisition, consulting and third-party management opportunities. He enjoys an invaluable talent of dissecting ways golf courses, country clubs and resorts can create significant new revenue and save expenses without compromise to quality. Previously, Mike managed the company’s vast southeast portfolio. A PGA member, he is a graduate of Mississippi State University, an avid cyclist and diehard college football fan.