The new Turtle Creek

From the Sidelines

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As most of you know by now, I am an avid golfer. Now that I am retired, I plan on playing at least 5 days a week.  I love the sport, and back in the day, I was pretty good. I held the low score record at what was then the old Greenville Country Club for a long while, until some young whippersnapper broke my record. Since then, the course has changed from private to public, and had several owners.  I have met and talked to the new owners, Bill and Tiffany Slade, along with partner Ron Sprenkel, and they are really good, hard-working people, and have some high expectations for what is now Turtle Creek Golf Club.

(L-R) Mike Stegall, Tiffany Slade, and Bill Slade. (Amber Hutt photo)

Bill Slade is the owner of Mideast Machinery movers out of New Paris, Ohio, and recently bought his part of the course from Dan Frantz.  My conversation with Bill was very interesting, and he and his family, (both girls, Lexi and Mackenzie, work there in the summer) want to make this the best it can be.

Bill’s first year as an owner has been a learning curve for him, since he has never tried anything like this before.  Of course, labor has been the big issue, but he is confident that it will work out.  For a while, Turtle Creek had a somewhat negative reputation in the restaurant part, but in talking to people who have eaten there now, they all think that things have improved greatly thanks to Tiffany and the staff they have. They still need people, as most places do, but hope they can expand the staff to accommodate the slowly rising crowds they are seeing. This winter, Bill is hoping to get some much needed cart paths installed, and is just waiting on the weather to clear a little. Turtle Creek has all new golf carts from last year and that should help with maintenance. This summer, both daughters will help out, Lexi in the pro shop (a freshman at Miami) and Mackenzie (who has a job at an accounting firm in Dayton) usually works the beverage cart.

I asked Bill what he saw for the future at Turtle Creek and he said he wants Shannon Berry, the golf course manager, to focus only on the golf course as last year he managed both the course and the restaurant.  Bill stated he wants to get some of the tournaments and outings back that was lost before he became owner. Since Turtle Creek is a full service course (restaurant, putting green, driving range and fully stocked pro shop) he feels that once people see the progress there, they will return.  In the future he wants to possibly add some golf simulators for the winter, which would add revenue and allow those of us who have golf withdrawal in the winter can still play and stay sharp……well, sharp may be a stretch…. Have some fun, maybe is more appropriate!

Bill sees his girls taking over in the future, so he can play more golf. His plans are to continue to grow and shape up the course and its surroundings, and to make Turtle Creek a place everyone can come to and relax and enjoy. Golf is a family game that can be played your whole life, and the community of golfers always enjoy the fellowship and camaraderie of the game.

Bill and Tiffany have a big job ahead of them, fighting to get workers, maintaining a golf course, running a successful restaurant, and making Turtle Creek the spot to play in western Ohio.  I think they will get it done, they have the work ethic and talents to make it all work.  If you get the chance, try out the restaurant this winter, and try the Chicken Chunks on Mondays, and the Chicken Wings on Wednesdays, (those are there specials) along with other menu items. I think they are very good, and so do the guys I meet up with on those days.  Owning a golf course is a daunting task, and requires a lot of work and commitment.  The Slade’s have that commitment, and I and a lot of others are pulling for them.  They’ll make it!  That’s the way I see it…….from the sidelines.