But that’s exactly what Belmont Lake Golf Club in Rocky Mount has accomplished since being purchased by the Halle Building Group in April 2013.
While 158 may not seem like a large number, the club’s membership roll stood at just 32 when new general manager/head pro Tim Wilke arrived from Charlotte to help the former Ford’s Colony layout regain some momentum.
The club, less than an hour away from locations in eastern Wake County, is managed by a familiar golf industry name in the Triangle area – Traditional Golf Management, which also oversees Chapel Ridge, The Preserve and Falls Village.
Wilke actually arrived east of Interstate 95 on April Fool’s Day 2013. He previously held jobs at prestigious Charlotte Country Club and The Palisades Country Club, but decided to make the career move because he wanted to help manage a club.
Rounds have increased from 5,000 in 2014 to a projected 22,000 as the new owners and Traditional Golf have overseen the construction of a permanent clubhouse, along with a bunker restoration and the addition of a new cart fleet.
“When I came here I knew there was ample opportunity for progress to be made,” Wilke said. “It just took some energy and commitment and enthusiasm.
As far as the membership increase it just came down to being personable and getting out to some of the businesses; and the construction and the new buildings initiated a lot of it, too. People saw there was money going into it the place and they wanted to be a part of the excitement.”
“It’s like a different world seeing the course now,” added Traditional Golf spokesman Jerry Morelli.
The layout was designed by David Johnson, who formerly worked for noted architect Bob Cupp before branching out on his own in 2000.
“The golf course is probably one of the best public golf courses this side of Raleigh,” Wilke said.
“A big part of our business is reciprocal and we bullet point that with all of our membership sales,” Morelli said of Traditional Golf’s portfolio in North Carolina. “If there is one added in your area that is a great bonus for you at no additional cost. Rocky Mount is not so convenient to the other three in the Triangle that guys from the other clubs are going to be going back and forth on a daily basis, but for a day trip it is definitely worth it to try something new and something different.” – David Droschak