timberland tops Bigfoot Golf and Country Club to convert to disc golf
When Bigfoot Golf and County Club owner Patrick Murphy sent a letter to the club members at the end of January informing them the golf course would be no more, some assumed he would be converting it into a cannabis farm. Murphy is the owner of the Arcata based Emerald Family Farms cannabis company.
Reached on Friday, Murphy said that was an understandable reaction given how many properties have been converted as the newly regulated marijuana industry develops, but said that scenario doesn apply at the Willow Creek golf course.
aware of the fact that there are a small number of people that truly have enjoyed that course, Murphy said. the members that were there we truly have appreciated their support. This is not based on personality. We like the members. This is a purely financial decision so we can try and course correct so we can have greater community involvement. said the golf course is not owned by Emerald Family Farms.
Murphy said that since he purchased the golf course and country club nearly two years ago from Arthur Tonkin,
he tried to make the golf course business model work. But Murphy said he found that the costs to maintain the course and the less than enthusiastic response to golfing in younger generations has caused them to change plans for the property.
In addition to creating a disc golf course, Murphy said they are working to open a farm to table restaurant and bar by spring and hopefully use the property for events like and Ale and weddings. Murphy said he also like to eventually build vacation cabins on the property in order to promote more tourism to Willow Creek.
realize there is a small group of people out there that this is not going to make really happy, Murphy said. understand that. But I can run a business focused on about 20 to 30 people. I need to refocus this and get great community involvement on this that bridges the gap of all ages out there. Willow Creek resident Kent Sawatzky said he lives near the golf course and does not support the change. Sawatzky said Friday that Murphy could still keep the golf course open while also allowing for disc golf. Sawatzky said he had offered to buy the golf course from Tonkin when it was up for sale.
strongly support the community desire to continue using that property as a golf course and to provide other things potentially as Mr. Murphy says may be in the future but to not eliminate the golf course, Sawatzky said.
Sawatzky said that not enough marketing has been done to promote younger generations to use the course.
Murphy said that the changing use of the golf course does not mean that they plan to move tenants out of the Bigfoot Mobile Home Park, which was a concern raised in 2016 after tenants were noticed of the owners plans to build vacation cabins.