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New clubhouse jumpstarts interest

Spring Creek members will vote on social cap

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New clubhouse jumpstarts interest

From its sky-high ceilings and sweeping balcony to its picture windows and spacious design, the 10-month-old clubhouse has become the heartbeat of Spring Creek Golf and Country Club.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED February 19, 2013 1:38 a.m.

His wood-headed golf clubs haven’t seen the light of day in nearly a decade.

And any ambition to play the course at Spring Creek Golf & Country Club left Leo Zuber the day his wife passed away.

“I’ve had so many offers,” said Zuber, a Ripon city councilman and the club’s former president.

“I have a set of clubs, but they have wood heads on them. It’s been probably, oh gosh ... I think we’ve been members out there for 10 years and it’s been about 9½ since I last played.”

No, the golf doesn’t drive Zuber or much of Spring Creek’s newest members.

It’s the swanky new digs.

From its sky-high ceilings and sweeping balcony to its picture windows and spacious design, the clubhouse has become the heartbeat of a golf course approaching its 50th birthday.

The club has enjoyed an increase in social memberships since the clubhouse’s debut in April. The number of social members – those that have access to the clubhouse and pool, but aren’t allowed to play the golf course or use the fitness center – has doubled, reaching the club’s cap of 90.

“Last I heard there was a waiting list,” club president Dave Erb said on Monday.

Tonight, the membership will decide whether to give Erb and the board of directors the power to increase the maximum number of social members.

A board of directors meeting will immediately follow.

“The idea of the building was to create an environment for the future,” said Jim Toal, Spring Creek’s general manager and director of golf. “And we’re seeing the effects of that.”

“I give 100-percent credit to the clubhouse. It’s a great atmosphere to be in. People join and tell their friends, and their friends want to be where their friends area. And they come in packs.”

Now, there’s room to spare. The new clubhouse has about 50 percent more interior space, while the balcony adds 5,000 square feet of usable space.

Toal credits the membership’s forward-thinking for the improvement.

Spring Creek was showing its age when members voted with 77 percent approval to begin construction on a new clubhouse.

“They saw the need. Clubs that were maintaining membership levels were making capital improvements to their facility,” Toal said. “In all the periodicals I’ve read, those that are surviving are putting money into their facilities.”

Perhaps the best measurable for Spring Creek’s recent boon is staff size and bookings.

Toal said they’ve had to increase their staff by 20 percent since last April’s ribbon-cutting, with most of the new hires coming in the restaurant.

Additionally, they’ve had to create two management positions in marketing and food and beverage.

Toal also noted that community bookings in December doubled the total from December 2011.

“The vision for Spring Creek is to create an environment where people can feel comfortable and share fellowship with each other,” Toal said. “Share golf, but also share social times too.”

That’s why Zuber stays.

“The people, the service, the access,” he said, “at this point, it’s worth it to me.”

The golf is nice, too.

Or so he’s been told.

“My wife was the golfer,” Zuber added. “We joined so she could play. ... I like to look at the golf course.”

From the comforts of Spring Creek’s swanky new clubhouse.

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