By Ken MacLeod
Scissortail Golf Course in Verdigris closed on March 22 following the departure of superintendent and general manager Chad Weinrich, who took a position as superintendent of Winter Creek Golf Club in Blanchard.
Spirit Bank of Tulsa, which has been trying unsuccessfully to sell the course since 2011, decided on the closure rather than trying to replace Weinrich, who has been running both superintendent and pro shop operations for the past five years.
The course, a Randy Heckenkemper design, opened in 2006 to good reviews. However it went through three early ownership groups before falling to the bank in 2011. It has not been promoted virtually at all during that time as the bank was more intent on finding a buyer than expanding golf operations.
â€œItâ€™s a shame, because the course is really in better shape than itâ€™s ever been,â€ Weinrich said. â€œIâ€™m partial to it, but I never understood why it didnâ€™t get more play for the conditions and the price.â€
Weinrich said the course has been averaging about 15,000 rounds annually and probably needed to raise that by 8,000 or so to be profitable.
Scissortail suffered a debilitating setback when it lost most of its fairways to winter kill in 2010 but has long since recovered.
â€œThe Scissortail Golf Club was intended to compliment a small community who received and generated attention due to their fine school system,â€ Heckenkemper said. â€œMany young families were interested in moving to Verdigris and the golf course was just one piece to a plan conceived by the original developer. Unfortunately the other components that were always known to be vital to the golf course success never materialized. Since it opened Scissortail’s staff has always worked hard to provide a well managed, friendly place to play golf.â€
Some of those other components Heckenkemper referenced were that the club did not have a grill or restaurant or adequate facilities for hosting tournaments. It was never supported adequately by the surrounding neighborhood, only a few nearby residents were members, according to a Spirit Bank official. And there were limited promotions of the course since the bank took receivership.
The bank is paying one of Weinrichâ€™s assistants to provide light maintenance for the time being. Anyone interested in the property should contact Steve Walman of Walman Commercial Real Estate Services at 918-481-8888.
Scissortail is the fifth course in the area to close in recent years. Others are Emerald Falls Golf Course in Broken Arrow, Okmulgee Country Club, Cotton Creek in Glenpool and Clary Fields in Sapulpa. All were privately owned and four were public courses, with Okmulgee being the exception.