By Anna Skinner
Last year, the owners of Wood Wind Golf Course decided to monetize their property by selling to a residential developer with a development plan that would lead to closing the golf course and building homes with a fair amount of density.
After a conjoined reaction of disapproval from the community, plans have changed.
“The community really stepped up,” said Matt Cohoat, president of Cohoat and O’Neal Golf Management, which leases the course from the owners. “Several members of the community here helped bond the community and really let the city council know it was a preference that this would remain green space and that the golf course would stay.”
Matt and his brother, Jeff, general manager at Wood Wind, said if the public golf course closed, it would be unlikely that another public course would be built in the city due to financial feasibility. The course has been open since the 1980s, and Cohoat and O’Neal Golf Management has leased it for seven years.
“The developer canceled their plans and the owners renewed our lease for the rest of 2016,” Matt said. “The golf course will then be put under contract with Pulte Homes. They are spending a lot of time really understanding and engaging with the community to understand a broader, more coordinated plan to retain the golf course and build homes on extra land or land nearby.”
Matt said his intent would be that Cohoat and O’Neal would continue to manage the course after the developers begin construction.
Jeff Cohoat and Jake Peacock, the head golf professional for Wood Wind, have been working hard since the decision to continue leasing the property.
“We’ve gone back to our roots to focus on the total customer experience and not just the golf experience,” Jeff said. “We want the total experience to provide the highest service possible.”
Peacock graduated from the Golf Academy of America at Myrtle Beach in 2009. He spent multiple years at various high-level clubs around the nation before he was hired at Wood Wind last year.
Jeff Eldridge, head superintendent of maintenance and grounds, has been working with Jeff Cohoat and Peacock to better the course in terms of cleaned golf carts, a new appearance of the shop, landscaping the putting greens and more.
Keltie Domina, formerly of Keltie’s Restaurant in downtown Westfield, and her team provide expanded food and beverage service as well as catering services for weddings and events at the course.
The Cohoats and Peacock are also working with two local high school teams – Park Tudor and University High School – to provide space to play on the course. The Highlands Latin School will play as a club team. Tracy Schooler of Lebanon serves as director of instruction, for lessons and golf instruction.
“It ties in with the youth learning about golf and being out here and that can be an opportunity to meet other youth for our caddy program, the Evans Scholar Program,” Matt said.
Matt and Jeff both live in Westfield and Peacock resides in Fishers. For more, visit http://www.woodwindgolf.com/.
A day of golf
Wood Wind Golf Course is open from dawn to dusk through playing season. Golf Monday through Friday costs $52 for 18 holes and $62 on the weekend. A senior rate for ages 60 and older is $36 Monday through Friday and $42 on weekends. The course is completely open to the public. Foot Golf, a mix of golf and soccer, is also offered. It costs $15, and a $5 soccer-ball rental for 18 holes, which takes approximately two hours, is available.
- Refurbished bunkers and practice bunkers
- Sands have been added
- Improved drainage on the course
- Improvements to restrooms
- Painted pavilion
- New staff
- Couples League to come in 2016