The transformation of the newly named The Club at Stoney Creek has come in various phases, but there’s no question the ultimate goal appears within reach to those overseeing the changes.
The 18-hole facility is trending toward becoming private, with the accelerator pushed on that objective.
“There has been a lot going on the last several years from an improvement standpoint,” said David Taylor, who oversees the facility for Pinnacle Golf Properties. “This is part of a long-term plan to reposition Stoney Creek from a market standpoint. We saw a void in the market.”
Taylor said the plan is to have a resort type of golf experience, minus a full country club set-up.
“We’re trying to be a true golf club,” Taylor said. “We feel there’s a real need and niche in the marketplace. This is an opportunity to enjoy the game and learn the game.
“We felt like there was not a club offering this type of golf experience at this affordable price.”
While the physical makeover of the course should be evident, part of the rebranding has been geared toward a remarkable membership experience, Taylor said. The course had been called Stoney Creek Golf Club.
Pinnacle Golf Properties, which manages four other golf properties in the Triad, has set the blueprint for Weaver Investments, which owns The Club at Stoney Creek. Weaver Investments President and CEO Lee McAllister said there are countless advantages of going in this direction given the location and status of the course.
“We’re moving toward a model for private golf with little outside play,” McAllister said. “We feel like we’ve got a resort-style facility. Our focus is golf. That’s what we’re all about.”
The latest turn in the process began Sept. 1 with restructured pricing. A marketing campaign will intensify during the winter, though much of the footage and background work for that already has taken place.
A full golf membership will cost $220 per month (reduced to $150 per month for residents outside a 40-mile radius).
The course is reserved for members (and their guests) from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.
Pricing for non-members has been simplified, with the elimination of twilight and senior rates. Walking rates were previously nixed.
Non-members can play Monday-Thursday for $55 and Friday-through-Sunday (during designated times) and holidays for $65.
“That is a vast change from where we’ve been,” Taylor said. “It’s important from a member standpoint, where they have a true value. … As we grow the membership, we’ll put more restrictions in place.”
The Club at Stoney Creek has about 220 members. Taylor said adding 100-130 members would be reasonable across the next couple of years.
“It’s a long-term vision,” he said.
Todd Smith, the club’s director of golf, said members have embraced the changes and have begun to realize the benefits of a better-conditioned course.
“It’s a totally different feel when you come out here,” Smith said. “The service is better. If you’re a member, you’re treated like a private-club member. We can give members the full attention.”
Some of the groundwork began about five years ago. Since then, approximately $3 million has been spent on upgrades, including a greens renovation, rebuilt bunkers and construction of a complete practice facility.
The course recently was listed in the top 100 layouts in North Carolina.
Smith said fewer rounds played on the course have translated into fewer divots and ball marks.
“It has certainly achieved what we’re looking for,” Smith said. “It’s going to feel like a private club and that’s the whole point.”
Smith said opportunities for prospective members to play the course should provide a means to build membership.
Among the physical changes was flipping the front nine and back nine last year. Taylor said that made for a less demanding starting hole and allowed the 18th hole to be more prominently featured as the finishing spot.
It also led to better pace of play, Smith said. He said rounds generally are completed in less than four hours.
Tee boxes were moved to lengthen Nos. 14 and 18.
While there will be some social events connected to the club, Taylor said the changes aren’t an attempt to become a country club, and there are no fees suggesting that. A swimming pool remains on the grounds.
With an emphasis on golf, there’s no mistaking the club’s mission.
“Families are looking for a really nice place to play golf, learn the game of golf,” Taylor said. “With this model, we can keep that affordable.”
The club is located on N.C. 70 about midway between Greensboro and Burlington. It’s about a half-mile off Interstate 85/40.
In the Triad, Pinnacle Golf Properties also operates Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center in Greensboro, Meadowlands Golf Club in Winston-Salem, Sapona Ridge Country Club in Lexington and The Challenge Golf Club in Graham.