Summer is sprinting to the finish and as fall beckons, The Lynx Golf Course in Otsego, Michigan is in preparation mode.
“Golf courses today have to do the golf really well, which we think we do and will continue to do, but you have to use your facility for other activities through the year and we are getting ready for that,” said Jim Szilagyi, managing partner of The Lynx Golf Course, or The Lynx.
Szilagyi and his partners purchased the course five years ago and went to work investing in the course and equipment. As part of the process more than 1,000 trees were removed to make the golf course more playable, as well as allow course conditions to improve.
“The difference in the conditioning of the course from when we took over is significant,” Szilagyi said, crediting Superintendent Bill Eitel.
“The focus now is on continuing to fine-tune the golfer amenities, work on the bunkers, tees, and edging the cart paths. Those things are not real sexy, but they all play a part in elevating the course. Essentially we are trying to do more and more when others are doing less and less,” Szilagyi added.
As the fall quickly approaches, the staff at The Lynx continues to work at improving conditions and offering event space for guest experiences, as well as course-sponsored events such as the Fall Color Tour. The event, which is held throughout a three-week stretch, is already accepting reservations.
“The Fall Color Tours have been a huge promotion for us. We take our guests out to the area by our 14th tee overlooking the Kalamazoo River Valley. We have a fire pit, and what we call a warming station with beer and wine samples and snacks with help from our vendors,” Szilagyi said.
“It’s a chance for people who don’t golf to get on our course, too. They all seem to really enjoy it, and we do it when the colors hit in late October. With our elevation looking down on the valley it is spectacular, and the colors make that very apparent. The guests also receive a dining coupon in the grill with that promotion,” Szilagyi added.
Szilagyi also said the goal is to provide a scenic well-conditioned customer-friendly golf destination and fun-to-play public daily fee golf course—and people have noticed. Play is up, membership is up, and golfers are coming back to this convenient golf spot in Southwest Michigan, which is just five minutes from United States Route 131, about 22 minutes from Kalamazoo, and roughly 35 minutes South of Grand Rapids.
The Lynx is also nearing completion on their A Chapel in the Pines project, which is a planned outdoor facility behind the 18th hole near a huge stand of pine trees. The venue is intended for hosting weddings, receptions, and other events, which have increased in programming under the current ownership plan.
The course itself features a 6,471-yard layout that has 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 No. 10 is one the golfers go home talking about.
“We really want to be everybody’s golf course of choice: play here, eat here, get married here, help a charity, everything,” Szilagyi said.