Friendly Indian River Golf Club Stayed Busy With Surprising November Weather
By Greg Johnson
Yes, even in November.
“Each year we try to stay open until Halloween, but we never seem to make it with late October weather,” Indian River General Manager Corey Crowell said. “We knew the recent stretch of weather was coming, so we stayed open and we were busy, so busy, especially on the (Nov. 6-8) weekend.”
Crowell said at least 80 rounds were played on Saturday, November 7, and it continued a pattern of increased rounds played since June.
“Yeah, 2020 has been a bad year in a lot of ways, and it hurt our restaurant here, but in terms of rounds played it has been a great year for golf, and not just Indian River,” Crowell said. “People played golf this summer no matter the pandemic. I think they just felt safe outside playing golf.”
November rounds were a first for Indian River. He said having a good customer base of local play and some members still around the area made up many of the rounds, but there were a lot of surprises, too. “We got calls from downstate and they hopped in the car to come play, and we even had a couple from Indiana who came up here to play,” he said. “It was a little crazy, but fun crazy.”
Crowell said in managing Indian River Golf Club, he looks at being open the way he thinks a golf course owner would look at it.
“If I was the owner, I would want to be open with weather that nice,” he said. “We had the salaried employees come to work. I got out there, got carts ready. I had our chef out blowing leaves off the course. We got it ready to go and the people came. It turned out to be a nice little bonus of revenue for a crazy year.”
Indian River is one of 20 golf courses in the Gaylord Golf Mecca cooperative marketing group, which also includes 20 lodging partners. It’s a course with classic elements from Michigan Golf Hall of Famer Wilfrid Reid’s original design as well as the natural cut-through-the-trees elements found in Northern Michigan courses. It has five sets of tees, and the service is friendly at Indian River. It can also be part of a golf vacation trip to the Mecca, apparently even good for a November round.