Member Bill Chambers and family purchase Indian Springs Country Club in Broken Arrow

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By Ken MacLeod

If one had not quite grown accustomed to the name change from Indian Springs Country Club to The Club at Indian Springs, good news.

Long-time member Bill Chambers is changing the name back as one of his first official acts as new owner of the Broken Arrow club, which has two 18-hole golf courses, 14 tennis courts, four pickleball courts, three pools and an updated clubhouse. Chambers, 61, and his family purchased the club from previous owners Ryker Young of Fort Gibson and Paul Glover of Muskogee, for an undisclosed price, with the sale becoming official on Dec. 1.

Fortunately for Chambers, the club is not in need of the drastic changes it was when Smith and Glover, who also own The Golf Club of Muskogee, purchased it in an auction in 2012. Then the club was down to fewer than 450 members and the needs for updating and repairs were enormous.

“We changed out greens, sand traps, built bridges, fixed sinkholes, made significant repairs to the training center, tennis courts clubhouse, roofing, dining areas, you name it,” Young said. “Any profit we made since we purchased it went back into the club.”

“The guys we bought it from, they deserve a standing ovation for keeping that club from going under,” Chambers said. “We have members here that go back to the 1970s when it was called the Shamrock Club and it would have been a horrible thing for the city, community and members if it had gone under.”

Chambers, a member for 30 years who sold his oil and gas business Energy Specialty Contracting in 2015, said he was looking for a business to invest in that could involve his wife Janet, an accounting specialist, as well as daughter Nicole Yoak and son-in-law Tyler Yaok, both of whom will have significant roles in the club.

“I really got involved on a whim,” Chambers said. “I was looking for something fun to do with our kids and stopped by the club and checked in with the owners. I said we’d like to do this. They gave me a price and it didn’t scare us off, so we began to talk.”

Negotiations went on from late June and in that same time Young was contacted by two others with interest in buying the club, even though the course had not been advertised and they weren’t looking to sell.

“It was just bam, all of a sudden we had three different seekers,” Young said. “Bill and Janet have been members for 30 years and they’ll be a good fit. And they have a good succession plan. We’re happy with the transaction. It was good for them and good for us.”

Chambers had Nick Sidorakis, retiring general manager at Southern Hills, look closely at operations and former Southern Hills superintendent Russ Myers look at maintenance operations to assess where the club was and what it could do to improve. He hopes to add at least 100 members to the approximately 575 current members.

Chambers said key personnel would be retained, including General Manager Mark Barrett, Director of Golf Mark Budler and Superintendent David Jones as well as Director of Tennis professional Bryan Dick.

Chambers said that Tyler would be president of Indian Springs and Nicole will be membership director, while he will concentrate on special projects and course conditions.

“The plan is to just keep the courses in great shape and keep making improvements,” Chambers said.

Indian Springs opened in 1968 with what is now known as the River Course, designed by George Fazio, and The Lakes was added in 1974, designed by Don Sechrest. Both courses now have Champion ultradwarf Bermuda greens and Bermuda fairways. The River Course has been the site of significant OGA and WOGA championships, as well as recently the All Pro Tour. The Lakes Course has held state high school championships, PGA Junior Tour regionals and other significant events.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source