White Hawk making upgrades to course, clubhouse
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent August 10, 2012 4:51PM
Golf outing participants take a lunch break outside the clubhouse at White Hawk Country Club in Crown Point, Ind. Wednesday August 8, 2012. White Hawk is making a number of improvements and expansions, including adding fine seafood dining and purchasing 120 new golfcarts. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 12, 2012 6:04AM
CROWN POINT — Major changes are happening at White Hawk Country Club in an effort by the new owners to update and improve the once neglected club and 36-hole golf course.
Since CND Management LLC of Crown Point purchased the club in January out of bank receivership a three-phase renovation has been going on. The first two of those phases are complete and included renovations and improvements to the restaurant, bar and kitchen as well as the golf course. The final stage, which will expand the banquet facility and bring in an upscale seafood restaurant, is under way.
“We’ve made lots of improvements. It’s all good things,” said Andy Solay, PGA Golf Pro and general manager at the country club.
Renovations include opening up the foyer by removing a second floor office. The restaurant and bar area was transformed from a room that could seat 20 to one that could seat 100, with 20 at the bar alone. Work included pushing out both the back and front of the clubhouse. The pro shop was moved forward to create more room for the restaurant. The bathrooms too were completely redone.
To accommodate the larger dining area the kitchen was more than doubled in size as well.
While major improvements have been made to the clubhouse the primary focus has been on improving the golf course itself.
“Our major emphasis is on improvement of the course. We want to bring it back to the premier facility it once was. It has been a little on the neglected side from a maintenance stand point for the last three or four years,” Solay said.
That work included bunker renovations, different turf management and the purchase of 120 new golf carts. Ninety of those carts are electric and fit in the clubs underground storage facility. Thirty of those carts are gas powered and can be stored outdoors. Solay said they also cherry-picked the best 29 carts from the original fleet to have on hand to accommodate large golf outings. White Hawk has the capability to accommodate outings of up to 300 golfers.
Wednesday the Northern Indiana Sheet Metal Contractors Association headquartered in Hobart had more than 200 golfers at the club for its annual outing. The group has used White Hawk the past three years. Lori Schmidt, chapter executive, said she was impressed by the renovations and pleased to see a company making commitment to the area.
“We need people to put back into our communities and have confidence in our area and our economy,” Schmidt said.
Work is under way on the final phase of improvements that will include expanding the banquet facility to accommodate 250 guests and transforming an existing alcove into a fine dining seafood restaurant.
Anthony Lopez, food and beverage director, said they expect to have the restaurant ready in 20 to 40 days.
“The fine dining aspect will draw quite a few people here,” Lopez said.
White Hawk is a public-private club. Solay said it is too early to tell the impact on membership the renovations will have. Members typically renew in the fall. Due to the receivership last year, he said, many members rightfully so opted to sit on the fence and see what was going to happen before buying in again. Still, at 240 members this year, the club is about 40 members over what was expected for the inaugural year.
Response to the changes so far has been positive so he anticipates those numbers will start to climb.
“We want people to feel this is their club and make it part of their life,” Solay said. “We want it to be a win-win for everybody.”