Open house will
note the upcoming golf season
Five months after the Platte County Commission
announced their decision to buy the ground on which the
county-owned and operated golf course sits, county officials
will hold an open house to celebrate the upcoming golf
Shiloh Springs Golf Club, which was opened
one decade ago, is hosting the event to focus on changes
that will take place at the course for the 2006 season,
according to Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Nowotny.
During the open house, citizens will be
able to give their input on new programs and course improvements
they feel would be valuable at Shiloh Springs.
We encourage not only golfers to
come out but the general public as well, said Presiding
Commissioner Betty Knight. We are working on some
very important issues for Shiloh and hope to make some
significant improvements in 2006.
Nowotny stated that a strategic plan for
the course is being developed to focus action on improving
customer services, offering new golf programs and addressing
priority deferred maintenance items.
Three specific projects have been identified
as priorities under deferred maintenance.
First, Shiloh will address the drainage
issues at the course that has plagued the site for years.
We will spend some funds to address
that, which will improve play at the course, said
Nowotny also stated upgrades will be made
to the irrigation system, which has become difficult to
maintain and operate. Finally, the course will also see
improvements made to the turf on the greens and tees.
Nowotny said that clubhouse manager Brian
Silcott has tackled the pressing issues at Shiloh head
on since being hired in September.
Brians doing a great job.
Hes addressing the key issues and the areas that
we wanted him to, said Nowotny.
Hes currently revamping employee
training policies, hes taking a hard look at programs
were going to be offering in 2006, and hes
already started offering individual and group lessons
at the course. So far hes off to a great start.
In September, the commissioners announced
their intent to buy the 122 acres of land at a price of
$1.6 million from Gary Martin after months of deliberation.
The purchase price combined with what is left on the original
bond payment, the county is left owing a little more than
$3.8 million on the golf course.
That decision to purchase the land from
Martin has given Platte County complete ownership of the
course, located east of Platte City near Hwy. 92 and Bethel
Along with the commissions decision
to embrace the golf course that many had labeled a nuisance,
an announcement was made that Shiloh Springs would also
be placed under the parks and rec umbrella.
It was a natural fit. Golf is a
recreational activity, said Nowotny.
So far, (the transition) has been
very smooth. Weve really have not lost any ground.
Weve taken the down months, like November and December
and have looked at how to improve the course in 2006.
With one month already in the books for
the now county-owned and operated course, Nowotny believes
they are on the right path.
January has been incredible. Theres
really no other word for it, he stated.
We finished up the biggest January
ever in the history of Shiloh. More golfers played this
January than any other January on the books.
Nowotny said he acknowledges that the
weather played a major part in those numbers, but he also
credits golfers giving Silcott a chance to see what improvements
he made during his short time as manager.
January shows were well on
our way, said Nowotny.
According to Nowotny, he still holds the
same expectations for Shiloh as he did on the first day
his department embraced the golf course under their umbrella.
He stated his expectations continue to
be to improve services, programs, the course itself, and
an increase in rounds by 10-15%.
If we can offer a better experience,
we think people will respond to that. If we can improve
services and offer a better course, people will respond
and there will be a better golfing experience for Platte
County, said Nowotny.
Along with making improvements to the course itself, management
will also make improvements to the clubhouse.
Plans include replacing the carpet, a
fresh coat of paint, a new overlay of pavement in the
parking lot and replacement of the flooring in the kitchen.
Its going to be an amenity
and an attraction. We want to make it a better attraction
for our citizens, stated Nowotny. We want
it managed well and we want it to be a good golfing experience
for everyone to be able to come out and play.