Dan Cass likes to golf. The local entrepreneur and former restaurant owner, realizing the Arcade area was in need of a country club, saw opportunity when Turkey Run went up for sale in 2015. Combining the two things he loved - golf and small business - made the purchase one he doesn’t regret. Now, with a reinvigorated attitude and a brand-new clubhouse, Turkey Run has become a staple in the local golf and restaurant scene.
Built in 1987, Turkey Run had a reputation as a short, fun track. The value of the greens fees matched the course - you wouldn’t pay top dollar, but you also wouldn’t expect Augusta. A small building greeted golfers to check-in and head out, but after the round, you’d pack up and go home.
When Cass bought the name and adjacent 95 acres of land, he had a grander vision. Construction began soon after on a new clubhouse and restaurant that could offer more than just post-round drinks. Completed in July of 2018, the clubhouse offers bar and dinner seating, a wraparound porch for drinks outside, and the ability to host large parties and tournaments.
“It’s a full-service bar & grille,” Cass said. “Since its completion, we’ve hosted bridal and baby showers, birthday parties, banquets, Christmas parties … you name it. There are a multitude of clubs that meet here twice a month, and we’re expecting more for the upcoming summer. It’s been unexpected, but it just went to show that there was a need for something like this in the community.”
Typically, golf courses and their clubhouses shut down for the winter months. But this past winter, Cass and Turkey Run decided to stay open throughout the cold. A cornhole league in November and December, Wednesday wing nights and specials through the week kept them busy. Plus, it helped keep Turkey Run in mind for potential new members.
“It’s still a little early, but I’ve taken in way more memberships than previous years, and I think a lot of that has to do with the clubhouse,” Cass said. “I’m expecting more memberships once the weather breaks. We’ve substantially increased the size of our men’s and ladies’ leagues.”
While the club hasn’t changed any of the course layout (as of yet), they’ve taken on a new commitment to maintenance and upkeep. Mowing, cleaning out ditches, taking care of the greens and other general course work has allowed for a much better golf experience.
“The greens and fairways are immaculate,” Cass said. “We’ve really done a nice job of making sure the course stays in good shape. We’ve thrown around some ideas on changing a few holes, but that’s down the road. For this year, we’re going to continue our maintenance commitment, blacktop the lot around the clubhouse and make the landscaping look a little nicer. It’s all of those little things that people notice.”
Turkey Run offers single, couple and senior military membership options. Early memberships receive 10% off menu items in the clubhouse, while current purchases get you 5% off. You can book your tee time at the website, and Cass says they’re looking into more 3rd party apps to make it easier for golfers to book.
“It’s definitely a new look for the course,” he said. “It’s maintained, the greens and fairways are immaculate, and there’s always something going on at the clubhouse.”
For more information on Turkey Run, head to www.turkeyrunarcade.com or find them on Facebook at Turkey Run Golf Course.