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Zac Blair

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The Buck Club
« on: October 12, 2017, 10:11:38 PM »
Hey everyone, some of you know I've been in the process of building a golf club in my home state of Utah.
Recently we had a great breakthrough and are finalizing a deal to take over an existing golf course within an hour of the greater Salt Lake City area.
Now we are in the process of trying to form a membership and make sure we get the right group of guys that love golf and would like to be a part of something like this.
Anyone that knows me knows I am very passionate about this project and I have extremely high hopes for The Buck Club.
Having said that, looking back through history how cool would it have been to part of the groups who were responsible for courses like NGLA, Pine Valley or other great golden age clubs.


Any and all help/ideas/info/interest would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks


Zac Blair

Jim Sullivan

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 10:35:27 PM »
Best of luck Zac...will be cool to watch!

Mike Nuzzo

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 11:01:30 PM »
Good luck.


NGLA used the best holes in golf as its inspiration.
Pine Valley used the eras best golf course designers.


I suggest using Pine Valley's methods and bring in the best help you can.


Cheers
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil & Tiger.

PCCraig

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 10:03:06 AM »
Good luck.


Will you be redesigning the existing golf course?
H.P.S.

Ryan Hillenbrand

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 10:41:59 AM »
Zac,

I sense your question is more about finding members who'd want to be on the ground floor of something truly special in golf vs. how to build a great golf course.

I don't know much about the founding/funding of Pine Valley or NGLA, though my understanding on NGLA is that CB pulled in fellow Wall Street tycoons and I'm not sure if that's the demo you're going for. I recently spoke to a founding member of Sand Hills and he said it was a word of mouth type thing. His friend knew Dick Youngscap and the course was already built yet not open, and looking for members. His friend had joined and asked him, most of the members were from the Midwest. He went to check it out and after the first 9 handed over his initiation fee check. Now the waiting list is hundreds deep supposedly.

If I could go back in a time machine to be offered founding membership in Sand Hills I'd jump at the chance. So the Sand Hills model seems to be self-fund the building of the course, then deploy a network of ambassadors to show off the merits of the club. Then those original members can further fund the clubhouse, lodging, etc, and maybe pay back some of your original investment. If The Buck Club is the next Sand Hills, you know where to find me!

Kalen Braley

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2017, 11:15:13 AM »
Zac,


Interesting news.  I'm guessing it will be somewhere East of the Salt Lake valley  ;D

Zac Blair

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2017, 11:22:42 AM »
Good luck.


Will you be redesigning the existing golf course?




Yes we will be completely redoing the existing course

George Myers

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 11:42:40 AM »
Zac,


Interesting news.  I'm guessing it will be somewhere East of the Salt Lake valley  ;D


I saw mention of a location 20 minutes south of Provo, but it was from a year and a half ago.


Congratulations, Zac!

David Wuthrich

Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 11:49:58 AM »

Zac,


Very exciting.


I think that you will need a little of both.


You should have a core group of individuals who are as passionate about golf as you are.


You will also need someone to make your dream come to life.  Does not have to be a big name architect, but there are guys on this site that would be a big help.


Mike did a spectacular job on a course in Port Lavaca, Texas that is a must play.  It is all about the passion for the art!!!


I'm happy to help you in whatever way I can.


Kalen Braley

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2017, 01:35:57 PM »
David,


 I've now heard 20 miles south of Provo and 30 minutes north of SLC.  There isn't much in the way of golf courses in either of those two places, so we'll have to wait and see!  ;D

Steve_ Shaffer

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 02:05:07 PM »
I'd like to see a tired old course in Phoenix/Scottsdale renovated into a MacRaynorBanks classic. I'm thinking of McCormick Ranch's 2 courses.


https://www.mccormickranchgolf.com/
"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
Hyman Roth to Michael Corleone: "We're bigger than US Steel."
Ben Hogan “The most important shot in golf is the next one”

Jason Topp

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2017, 02:43:33 PM »
Good luck Zac! 


Over the last 20 years there are countless terrific golf courses that have been built but faced mighty struggles.  (Apache Stronghold, Dormie Club, Black Mesa, Clear Creek, Bahia de los Suenos, Sugarloaf Mountain).  Of course there are other examples that have made no financial or logistical sense but have thrived (Bandon Dunes). 


I truly hope you unlock the right approach to make this a financially viable project.  I also hope the course drains!


 

Dave McCollum

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 03:40:14 PM »
Zac,

As Jason points out, it's not an easy business.  As far as I can tell, he's a smart guy.  It's definitely not a field of dreams--build it and they will come.  If I had any wisdom for you, I'd give it, but I'm still trying to figure it out.  The one thing I know:  the golf business is 100% dependent on the weather, which none of us control.  So, everything you do must be based on a foundation of uncertainty.  The second thing I've learned in this biz, and this may cause some on this board to choke on their stew, is that most golfers don't know or care about the things we obsess about here.  They truly don't care about the venues they play.  They care about who they play with.  Golden Age architecture is a fine ambition.  Just make sure you sell it as a way for your golfers to have more fun with their buddies.  That's what matters.       







Buck Wolter

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2017, 03:58:29 PM »
Hey everyone, some of you know I've been in the process of building a golf club in my home state of Utah.
Recently we had a great breakthrough and are finalizing a deal to take over an existing golf course within an hour of the greater Salt Lake City area.
Now we are in the process of trying to form a membership and make sure we get the right group of guys that love golf and would like to be a part of something like this.
Anyone that knows me knows I am very passionate about this project and I have extremely high hopes for The Buck Club.
Having said that, looking back through history how cool would it have been to part of the groups who were responsible for courses like NGLA, Pine Valley or other great golden age clubs.


Any and all help/ideas/info/interest would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks


Zac Blair

The best name in the history of Golf --no doubt the course/club will befit the name.

Buck

Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience -- CS Lewis

Tim Passalacqua

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2017, 04:25:26 PM »
 How long is the golf season in that part of country?

Kalen Braley

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2017, 04:30:22 PM »
How long is the golf season in that part of country?


It used to be a lot shorter....but now it can easily run 9-10 months in the valleys.  The upper elevations like Park City and the like are still shortish... 5-6 months.


Some courses won't even close, just be temporarily shut when snow is covering most of the fairways/greens

George Myers

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2017, 05:33:17 PM »
Just speculating, I wonder if it's Spanish Oaks course south of Spanish Fork.


North of Salt Lake and south of Provo are mutally exclusive.

Kalen Braley

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2017, 05:46:00 PM »
Just speculating, I wonder if it's Spanish Oaks course south of Spanish Fork.


North of Salt Lake and south of Provo are mutally exclusive.


George,


I've played it, its an OK little course with a few interesting holes and small greens.  But given its surrounded on most sides by housing and creeks with a major road cutting it in half.. I'm not sure much could be done with it...

Matthew Petersen

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2017, 05:48:56 PM »
I'd like to see a tired old course in Phoenix/Scottsdale renovated into a MacRaynorBanks classic. I'm thinking of McCormick Ranch's 2 courses.


https://www.mccormickranchgolf.com/


I've had the same thought about the Wigwam Red course, but McCormick is a good candidate too and Scottsdale is probably a better location.


Apologies for the thread jack.

Laz Versalles

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2017, 02:15:23 AM »

Zac, Love your passion. Sounds like a great vision and you've done a great job marketing your Field of Dreams.  As for new members/partners, consider spending some time specifically marketing the Los Angeles area. In the time someone can drive from LA to Palm Springs, you could fly LAX-SLC. And if there's a golfer's Nirvana waiting for them there are hundreds here who would make the quick flight.
A few points I think you'd do well to clarify:
What does water look like in Utah 20 years from now?
How well does the land you're targeting match the vision of the sketches in your notebook?
What is the name of the course your looking to buy?
The 2 year window referenced in your podcast- does that start once you sign the papers to buy?
Apart from having a logo, a notebook, a love for architecture and a ton of game, why invest with you?


Love to hear more specifics and hope to connect with you in the future. 

Tom Bacsanyi

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2017, 08:20:32 PM »
Take it easy on the bunkering.  Bunkers are sand pits, but also money pits (mostly labor, which you won't have enough of until the next recession)  Don't throw all your $$$$ down the drain (which will inevitably become clogged).  The idea of waste areas, small well placed pot/coffin bunkers, and short grass as a hazard are still vastly underrepresented in the golf world. Also, make sure every bunker has a purpose.  Extra credit challenge:  Build a great BUNKERLESS hole!


Look to CommonGround in Denver as a model for what you are trying to achieve (although public).


Best of luck.  Keep fighting the good fight.
Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.

--Harry Vardon

Kalen Braley

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2017, 11:15:57 AM »
Laz,


I live in the SLC area, so I can answer at least some of these.  The water situation is already bad, even thou there is tons of denial at the local political level.  Its consistently the 2nd driest state in the country, and relies heavily on productive winters to support the fast growing population which has doubled in just the last 25-30 years.  It would only take 2-3 years of below average precipitation to put many areas of the state in a critical water crisis as no new dams(to my knowledge) have been built in those previous 25 years.


Additionally, given Northern Utah is a high desert, unlike cities like Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Phoenix, etc where most people forgo big lawns and massive trees, that is not the case here in Utah and there is little local will/incentives to change.


All that being said, I suspect the Buck Club will not be not in a dense population area, so it may be able to tap into a different water source.


P.S.  I was also under the impression this club/course would be private, so I don't know if it would be a destination kind of thing..

George Myers

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2017, 12:58:37 PM »
Laz,


I live in the SLC area, so I can answer at least some of these.  The water situation is already bad, even thou there is tons of denial at the local political level.  Its consistently the 2nd driest state in the country, and relies heavily on productive winters to support the fast growing population which has doubled in just the last 25-30 years.  It would only take 2-3 years of below average precipitation to put many areas of the state in a critical water crisis as no new dams(to my knowledge) have been built in those previous 25 years.


Additionally, given Northern Utah is a high desert, unlike cities like Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Phoenix, etc where most people forgo big lawns and massive trees, that is not the case here in Utah and there is little local will/incentives to change.


All that being said, I suspect the Buck Club will not be not in a dense population area, so it may be able to tap into a different water source.


P.S.  I was also under the impression this club/course would be private, so I don't know if it would be a destination kind of thing..


Kalen,


Do you think it could be Hobble Creek or Gladstan Golf Course?

Kalen Braley

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Re: The Buck Club
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2017, 01:44:05 PM »
It would be a shame to redo Hobble Creek, its a fun little course as it is.  They even named a 3 hole stretch on the back 9 "Amen Corner", even though it bears zero resemblance to the real one.


As for Gladstan, never played it but I have driven by it.  The back 9 is on some fairly severe property, but there is more space out there....


I figure to finalize a deal, come up with a plan, do all the permitting and such, and then build it.... seems like it would still be a fair ways off..

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