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Indian Lake solidifies new management, prepares for spring opening

January 26, 2019

The Indian Lake Golf Club officially has a new manager as borough officials finalize the purchase deal with hopes of opening in the spring.

During a meeting Wednesday, Indian Lake Borough Council members approved a lease agreement for the 250-acre course to Chris and Kelly Smith, who own Northwinds Golf Course in Indian Lake. The sale of the 18-hole course to the borough was finalized June 28 for $615,573.

Chris Smith said he is in the process of finalizing the agreement.

“We are in the process right now of signing, sealing and doing all the official items that need to take place for the agreement, but we’re fine with the agreement and it’s moving forward,” he said.

Officials said there will be $1 lease on the property for the first year. Council member Bob Hanson said that’s because for the first year the Smiths will have to put more money into the course to get it ready to open by the spring. The Smiths have also been maintaining the course since the borough acquired the property.

“They have already put a substantial amount of effort into keeping the golf course viable over the course of the summer up to now, and no money has changed hands for that,” he said.

Hanson added that the borough has a five-year agreement with the Smiths, and they will have to pay $10,000 to the borough during the second year of the lease. The lease increases $10,000 each year the Smiths lease the course. Borough officials said they know a lot more work will be needed to get the course ready for visitors. “It’s our belief that anything they do can increase the value of it,” he said. “It’s not like the borough is going to take a loss on the property.”

The Smiths are looking to open all 18 holes of the golf course in the spring. The original nine-hole course was the first one designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer and opened in 1967.

Chris Smith said the focus will be on renovating the greens and raising the course up to “a high standard of playability.”

“I have a thousand ideas, and a thousand hopes and dreams,” he said. “We’re really excited to work on this golf course and make it something special.”

While green fees for the course are still being worked out, Smith said it will be a public course with daily fees, but there will also be events and memberships as well.

Hanson said the borough has received positive responses to the purchase and on the plans for the golf course. He said that “keeping it viable is in the community’s best interest.”

“It’s fundamentally a recreational community, and it was built around golf and the lake,” Hanson said. “People are pretty excited to have that course to play on.”

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