Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SPORTS >> Southern Oaks growing fast

Leader sports editor

In just three months, Southern Oaks Country Club, formerly Foxwood Country Club, has grown drastically, and club officials are in the middle of a two-month membership drive that’s focused on even more growth.

Southern Oaks managing partner Brian Hagewood is spearheading the drive, which includes reduced rates for full and junior memberships.

“We’re closing in on 200 full memberships and about 100 social members,” Hagewood said.

When Foxwood shut its doors, it had about 80 full members as a semi-private facility. Now as a fully private club, the member count is rising. Much of it is due, according to Hagewood, to the golf course.

“That’s why the investors got in because we had a great product already here,” Hagewood said of the course. “The course was in great shape and it has just maintained its condition. There’s no other course around in the shape ours is in. We get nothing but rave reviews, especially about our greens. The greens are immaculate.”

The course superintendent is Clark Carroll, former assistant superintendent at the ultra exclusive, Warren Stephens-owned Alotian Club.

“To say the least, we’ve got people here who know what they’re doing when it comes to maintaining a golf course,” Hagewood said.

Hagewood says Southern Oaks is also getting a boost from Cabot-area golfers who aren’t confident about the future of the financially troubled Greystone courses.

Several activities are planned during the membership drive that will be open to member guests. The most prominent being the four-ball, match play tournament scheduled for July 29-31.

“The four-ball, match-play format is just a great format, very exciting and fun,” Hagewood said. “This is our signature event and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s open to the public and it’s all-inclusive. We got Adidas sponsoring it; everyone in the tournament is going to get a $100 pair of shoes. If you’re there, you’re going to be set up nicely.”

Southern Oaks has already hosted a few golf tournaments, and they have been hugely successful. Its first four-ball tournament in May drew 60 teams.

This weekend the club is hosting Casino Night for members and guests. The club has hired a company to bring in tables and machines for the casino experience.

“We’re just trying to do a little something a couple times a month to spur activity and get people aware of what we have to offer here,” Hagewood said.

Through August, full memberships are available for a 12-month commitment of $175 per month. Junior memberships for anyone under the age of 33, are available for $135 per month with the one-year commitment.

“When you look at the course we have to offer, the amenities we have like the Southern Oaks restaurant that’s getting great response, and the fact that most memberships in this area are going for around $300 per month, there’s nothing out there that matches this deal,” Hagewood said.