I was asked by the membership committee to write a letter to prospective charter members entitled “Why I like Plum Brook Country Club.” Before doing that, however, I thought it would be important to discuss my impressions of recent changes at Plum Brook. While these changes are not physical in nature, I believe the are improving the overall value we receive as members.
If you had asked me or other members several years ago to name one thing that was most laking at Plum Brook, you would have likely heard about the average service and quality of the dining facility. To address this concern, Tom Smerillo was hired to be our Club Manager. In the time he has been with us, Tom has done a wonderful job in creating a more pleasing dining experience for members and their guests, without adding additional cost. In fact, he has been successful in improving the facility while actually reducing his budget over the past year.
I believe the golf course is the finest in the area, and the club certainly hit a home run when Eric Morgan was hired as our PGA Professional. Eric has the unique ability to provide a casual atmosphere at the course while maintaining a professional staff that is both helpful and courteous. Nowhere is this more evident than the quality of instruction members receive from Eric and his assistants. Several of these assistants have been hired as head professionals by other clubs. This attracts other talented and motivated assistants, who learn from Eric and add value the the club and its members as a result. The course always seems to be in tournament-ready condition, thanks to Eric and our Course Superintendent, Mark Bauer. Through their hard work and efficient planing, they accomplish this and come in at or under budget.
I mention budgets because it’s important that members feel they are receiving a good value. We are all feeling the effects of our current economic downturn, and Plum Brook has never been more conscience of this than now. In fact, Tom, Eric, and Mark work their magic on fairly tight budgets. Overseeing all of this is our Chief Operating Officer, Don Miears. Some of you may know that Don helped manage Cedar Point for many years, and recently served as Sandusky’s Interim City Manager. Don has generously offered his time and considerable talents to help Plum Brook focus on the task of remaining a good value to hits existing members, while developing fresh ideas and programs to attract new members.
All of this leads me back to the original purpose of my letter. What I like about Plum Brook is the flexibility that comes with my membership. I love the golf course yet I choose to limit my play on weekend mornings while my children are young. I get out some evenings during the week, after putting the kids to bed. I never have a problem getting on the course at that time, and can usually get in at least nine holes. Add to this a few hols with my kids every week, and Sunday afternoon golf dates with my wife, and I feel I receive a good value for my membership. My wife and I are looking forward to many years of golf with our children, and we especially like the valuable life lessons that can be learned from playing the game.
My family has dinner at the club several times a month. We usually call head with our order (again, the kids are young) and the food is on the table when we arrive. Tom’s assistant, Gail, always seems to have something fun for the kids to do. Whether it’s helping to make their deserts or checking out the latest toys in her office, Gail has certainly added her special touch to the club. In addition, we enjoy many of the events held at the club throughout the year, including the 4th of July celebration (awesome fireworks), Easter Egg Hunt, Santa Brunch, and other various holiday events.
Many of the family events held during the summer focus around the pool. It is a great place to play, and the lifeguards do a great job ensuring everyone’s safety. Our children have taken swim lessons there for several years, and we are amazed at how well they are progressing in their proficiency. This is of great comfort to us, given our proximity to and use of Lake Erie.
I do hope that you will consider a charter membership at Plum Brook for the reasons I have mentioned, as well as many other aspects of the club that are hard to describe in one letter. I think you will find the recent changes made to the charter membership fee structure provide an even greater value for your heard earned dollar. --
Jim Springer, March 2009
I’m writing as a member of Plum Brook Country Club. I’d like to tell you about the club, why I’m a social member and the exciting new plans for the future.
Plum Brook Country Club has been an integral part of our community since 1914. The beautiful setting, the well trained professional staff and many amenities make it an extraordinary gathering place.
The club is a wonderful destination for family dinners, holiday parties, pre-theatre meals, Sunday brunch, leisurely lunches, special events and business meetings.
During the busy tourist season, I especially appreciate being able to walk in where the staff knows my name, sit in the quiet comfort overlooking the magnificent golf course, and know that my food will be prepared and served with care. Dining at Plum Brook is like a mini retreat.
With all the changes and new ideas, I am excited about the future of the club. I would like to invite you to be a part of that future.
Linda Armstrong, March 2009
My family uses the club on a regular basis and almost daily during the summer. It is not a stretch to say my kids (Jake and Zach) spend the summer at the pool. Whether it is swim practice in the morning or playing with friends in the afternoon, it is rare not to see them there. On weekends, it is not unusual to see my wife (Jen) and me soaking up the summer sun while catching up with friends. The pool is a constant hub of activity in the summer.
Throughout the year, we enjoy various family parties, including the Easter Egg Hunt, July 4th fireworks, Halloween Hayride and Christmas with Santa. As all parents know, it is nice to have some adult time as well. Plum Brook provides babysitting for many functions, including couples golf league on Friday nights. Jen and I play golf and enjoy dinner while the kids have their own party. Not having to go through the hassle of finding a babysitter and knowing the kids are being taken care of makes the night all the more enjoyable.
Our family likes the convenience of going to the club for a nice meal. Avoiding the tourist on Rt. 250 and long waits for a table are big advantages. Whether it is a burger or steak, the food and service are consistently excellent. The dining atmosphere is kid friendly and never “stuffy”. For a more adult atmosphere, the lounge has become a hot spot to socialize with friends, especially on Friday nights.
With everything Plum Brook offers, it is the golf course that sets it apart. The course is one of the best in northern Ohio and always is in great shape. I use the club for business purposes, and I am always amazed at the number of compliments I received from guests. They can’t believe this hidden gem is in Sandusky.
The membership has an opportunity to participate in a full slate of golf tournaments. The golf staff arranges events for 9 hole ladies, 18 hole ladies, juniors, couples league and men’s league. The PGA staff also provides top-notch instruction, whether you are a beginner or scratch handicap.
The greatest value Plum Brook’s golf course provides is access. Other than Saturday and Sunday mornings, I do not have to pre-plan and make a tee time. If it is a beautiful evening, I can grab my clubs and play 18 holes of golf in 3 hours. Some of my best experiences on the course have been playing 2 or 3 holes of golf with my boys after a long day at work. All the stress of day eases away when I see the smiles on their faces.
There is no better time to take advantage of great membership deals. I encourage you to consider a membership at Plum Brook Country Club for a fantastic family experience. I look forward to seeing you there.
David A. Voight Jr., March 2009