Sleepy Creek Golf Course open under new management
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on July 15, 2012 12:01 AM
DUDLEY -- Mike Rose has a vision.
Rose wants Sleepy Creek Golf Course to become a place that people want to visit again and again.
It is a vision that began in May when Rose and his family leased the golf course course from the Sleepy Creek homeowners association.
After several months of being unkept, the course needed a lot of work. So much that it would turn off a normal golf enthusiast. Rose however is no casual golfer or typical business man. The former collegiate player at Concord University has served as the superintendent at several courses and has a proven track record of turning clubs around.
"My parents own Lock Haven Country Club in Rockingham and it was in similar shape when they took it over," Rose said. "I have seen the kind of work it takes to make a course better and I think Sleepy Creek has the potential to do the same thing."
When Rose arrived in Dudley from his home in Southern Pines for the first time he saw some of the primary issues he would be facing. Other problems he had to search for.
"One of my best friends is the superintendent at Baywood Country Club," Rose said. "I told him that he was going to have to come help me because we were going to have to weed-eat the greens and use metal detectors to find the irrigation spouts."
After several weeks of hard work, Rose reopened the course and was pleasantly surprised by the response from the golfers who showed up to play. The encouraging comments fueled his fire to improve the links.
"We went and ordered some parts to upgrade the irrigation system and we bought two new mowers," Rose said. "The biggest thing I want to do is to get the greens in such good shape that they bring people back.
"When you go play a golf course, the first thing you comment on is the condition that the greens are in... That is what you tell people about."
Until recently Rose was working as the superintendent at Seven Lakes Country Club, helping his parents with Lock Haven and trying to turn Sleepy Creek around. His time at Seven Lakes has now ended and Rose's attention has turned exclusively to his newest project.
Because his lease is for five years, the list of projects that Rose plans to complete is comprised of both short and long-term goals.
"The first thing is to get the irrigation system upgraded and get the greens right," Rose said. "Then I want to overseed the course's bare spots with rye grass and fill some of those in. After that we are going to work on the drainage of the course so that the fairways do not erode as much."
Aside from the golf course, Rose also plans to make upgrades to the pro shop that will make the game more enjoyable for Sleepy Creek's patrons.
"We plan to get the pro shop ready to serve some basic staples like sandwiches and hot dogs," Rose said. "We are also trying to get our license to serve beer."
Making the entire golf experience better will hopefully lead to increased rounds and increased revenue to fuel the on-course improvements.
"I want people to come play the course and enjoy themselves," Rose said. "If we can make the game fun and affordable people will keep coming back."
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