The Neosho Municipal Golf Course is officially a city-run operation now.
The city took over management of the course on Friday, March 1, and so far, City Manager Troy Royer says, the transition is going smoothly.
The course was previously operated by Justin Beck, on a contractual basis, though Beck left at the end of February to take a position elsewhere.
The city council voted in December 2012 to give Royer the go-ahead to pursue a city-run operation at the 18-hole course.
Royer said the golf course was closed Friday and Saturday, while the transfer of management took place, though the doors to the course were open once again on Sunday.
“We’re looking at doing a lot of improvements inside,” Royer said. “It’s still a little bit of a work in progress, we’re hoping to finish the majority of it up within a month.”
He said the plan is to create a lounge area inside, as well as cut off the concession area to restrict access behind the counter to employees.
The pro shop is also undergoing some work, and getting a fresh shipment of merchandise.
Royer said the merchandise previously offered in the shop had belonged to Beck.
“We’re starting a clean slate,” Royer said. “We’re having to re-order everything. We’ve placed orders to get balls, tees, and gloves, but we will not sell clubs, bags or that type of stuff at this time.”
Royer said the city will be ordering some shirts and hats to be available at the shop, though they won’t be as expensive as is common at many pro shops.
“We’re going to bring it back down to an affordable rate,” Royer said, noting that the merchandise would be embroidered to say “City of Neosho Municipal Golf Course.”
Royer said the pro shop is also being repainted with Neosho’s school colors, black and gold, with stenciling on the wall to say “Home of the Neosho Wildcats.”
While the shelves are being re-stocked and the locks have been changed, the city has also appointed a new leader to move the golf course forward.
Royer said the golf course’s new superintendent, Maron Towse, began his duties on Friday, March 1.
Towse comes from the Cassville Golf Club, where he served as assistant superintendent.
In addition, Royer said an assistant superintendent, six pro shop staff members and four part-time maintenance staff members have been hired.
He said a second assistant superintendent position is still open, as well as three additional part-time positions.
Previous golf course employees, who worked under Beck, were required to re-apply for their jobs, and if hired, became city employees as of March 1.
In a previous Parks, Recreation and Golf Course Committee meeting, Royer said the group reviewed the golf course fee schedule.
He is currently working on re-writing the city code to make changes to some golf course fees and policies based on the committee’s suggestions.
Royer said those changes will be proposed to council at their March 19 meeting.
“There will be some reductions and some restrictions on how we’re going to handle some of the stuff, but there won’t be any increases,” Royer said.