By Greg Johnson
When Jim Szilagyi and his partners purchased the Lynx Golf Course in Otsego, Michigan four years ago, he had a vision of what it could become with a few years of hard work and vested interest.
“The best thing that we are doing is maturing, and after four years of reinvesting back into the golf course and equipment, it is paying off,” said Szilagyi, general manager at Lynx. “We’ve never looked better. We’re getting everything in order now, and getting the property to where it looks the best that it can.”
Initially Szilagyi and his staff went to work opening up areas of the golf course for golfers to find their wayward golf balls, and to allow the natural elevation changes and rolling Michigan landscape to be seen. The large modern clubhouse has been improved in various ways, as well as the food service.
As a result, the golf course has become the scenic, well-conditioned, customer-friendly, fun-to-play, public golfing destination in southwestern Michigan, just five minutes from U.S. Route 131, nearly 20 minutes from Kalamazoo, and about 35 minutes south of Grand Rapids.
A Chapel in the Pines, which is an outdoor facility located behind the 18th hole surrounded by a huge stand of pine trees, is the latest project at the course nearing completion. Once finalized, the facility will be available to host weddings, receptions and other events in 2018.
Szilagyi said he likes where things are at this summer and the course is drawing more destination play from key markets, such as Chicago, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Holland.
“We really feel good about where we are positioned, especially for next year,” said Szilagyi. “We will be through with the improvements and those expenses will go away.”
The golf course is on a 6,471-yard layout with four tee positions moving up to 4,429 yards and slope ratings from a high challenge of 141 to 109 for the golfers on the other end of the spectrum. A few holes are along the Kalamazoo River and the elevation drop at the 10th hole is one the golfers go home talking about.
A current promotion bringing success to the operation is the Steak-and-Play deal in which a golfer can play 36 holes in one day with a hotdog between rounds and a steak dinner after play is done. The cost is $79 per golfer Monday through Friday and $99 on the weekend.
There is also a couples’ Wine-and-Dine promotion with 18 holes and then dinner with a two-for-one entrée price is also bringing reservations.
“We really want to be everybody’s golf course of choice – play here, eat here, get married here, help a charity, everything,” said Szilagyi.