The Plum Creek Country Club, which opened in Castle Rock, Douglas County in 1984 and became one of the PGA Tour’s first Players Clubs, is a private country club with a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse featuring an exacting Pete Dye layout with waterline finishing holes that rival the longest on earth. From 1984 to 1987, TPC Plum Creek hosted the Denver Post Champions of Golf, a Senior PGA Tour event, and the first two Colorado Senior Opens. Nevertheless, the club would mirror the fortunes of the oil and gas markets of the late 1980s. The Tour got out, and the management and ownership changed repeatedly over the decades. So did the club’s status; the one-time members-only club went from private to public to fully private to semiprivate to the public, largely in response to increased competition from better-conditioned daily-fee rivals such as The Ridge at Castle Pines North (1997), Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course (1999) and The Golf Club at Bear Dance (2002). By 2013, Plum Creek was filing for bankruptcy protection.
Now Plum Creek Golf Club’s future looks brighter than ever. Owners of Bear Dance, Southwest Greens, purchased the club out of bankruptcy on January 2, 2015. They immediately set about establishing what Plum Creek’s PGA Head Professional Bo Heidrick who held the same position at the Southwest-managed DavePelz Short Course at Cordillera calls “the Bear Dance way.” That meant an entire upgrade of the golf experience: the pro shop, customer relations, dining, and, especially, the condition of the course, which suffered from an anachronistic hydraulic irrigation system and limited water supply.
Given those restrictions, new Plum Creek Golf Club of Castle Rock Superintendent Justin Fischer applied what he’d learned as an assistant to Bear Dance’s Dave Cahalane. Fischer revived the tees and greens and improved the fairways to conditions they hadn’t seen in years. And they will only get better. When the snow thaws, Plum Creek will punch a new well, the water from which will flow through a thoroughly modernized and computerized irrigation system. Immediate plans also call for redoing all bunkers and bulldozing and rebuilding the practice range. Updates to the crumbling cart paths and parking lots will also take place.
Several years in the future, Heidrick says, the drafty, outdated clubhouse will likely be demolished as well, and replaced by an alternative building with a smaller footprint. “I am sure we will still be able to see amazing sunsets,” he asserts. They will also keep the Chophouse at Plum Creek, a swank steakhouse that opened in November just after the course closed for the season. “It was supposed to be the worst time to open a restaurant, but it’s been a success,” Heidrick says. Bear Dance chef Michael Hendricks’ menu includes mini-Beef Wellington appetizers, steaks with sauce enhancements, and a killer Korubuta pork chop. Originally open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, the Chophouse in January added Wednesday to meet demand. “In addition to the off-season income, the restaurant is a way to keep our staff together,” Heidrick says.
Similarly, Plum Creek Golf Club’s 2016 tee time pricing tops out at $56 during the week and $69 on weekends, inclusive of cart fees. The facility is very much a public facility and Heidrick emphasizes that they treat its members well. Annual memberships range between $1,800 and $4,450 and include discounted rounds at Bear Dance. “There are some diehard members who have played here for years,” Heidrick says. “It’s so gratifying to see them excited about what we’re doing.”.
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