When 2017 rolls in in a few months, The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe will have new owners but beyond that customers will see little else change at the popular public golf course located at 7211 48th St. SE.
Earlier this week, Watermark Properties announced it has formed a new legal entity to operate Thornapple Pointe and will take over on Jan. 1.
“It really is going to be business as usual,” said Chris Sobieck, who is the current general manager and PGA professional at Thornapple Pointe. Sobieck has been with Thornapple Pointe for 16 years and will continue to serve as its general manager along with overseeing Watermark’s golf and sports operations.
“Other than the ownership changing, everything is going to keep going like it has been,” Sobieck said. Thornapple Pointe will remain a public course and banquet facility under the new ownership, and will operate separately from Watermark’s private course model.
Owners of Watermark Properties or The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe knew each other, according to Sobieck. Neither were looking to sell or buy but as things fell into place, it became a positive situation and made sense for everyone, he said.
The Golf Course at Thornapple Pointe is the first public golf course in the Watemark Properties portfolio. The company owns four private golf courses, Cascade’s Watermark Country Club, Caledonia’s StoneWater Country Club, Jenison’s Sunnybrook Country Club, and Grand Rapids’ Thousand Oaks, along with seven restaurants including the stand-alone Gravity Taphouse Grille.
According to a statement from Watermark Properties, “Thornapple Pointe is regarded as one of the best public golf courses in West Michigan and has been very successful providing a championship caliber, daily fee course in great condition. It has continually improved its offering over the years and provided outstanding service and professionalism with a commitment to excellence. Because of its success, Watermark has no intention of making any changes to its operations.”
“Our owners have a deep commitment to seeing golf continue to grow and thrive in West Michigan,” said Watermark Properties CEO Craig Smith, who added that nationally the sport of golf has had some struggles in terms of growth. In West Michigan, golf has continued its popularity with a number of options throughout West Michigan available, Smith said.
“With the addition of Thornapple Pointe, it strengthens our commitment to the golf community in West Michigan.”
Smith said the company hopes it is sending the message that Watermark Properties not only wants to provide a variety of options to the golfing community but that they are enjoyable, affordable, and offer great conditions for all levels.
Designed by Ann Arbor-based William Newcombe & Associates, The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe was built in 1997 and overlooks the Thornapple River. The course has received positive reviews on Golf Advisor with “Golf Magazine” stating that it is a “unique 18-hole championship track incorporates Star Wars technology into every round and has literally taken golf in this area to another level.”