While several golf courses in the Kent area have closed, The Fairway at Twin Lakes, 1540 Overlook Road, is expecting an increase in business when its seventh season begins this week.
"We have some room for morning leagues at this point if anybody wanted to do that, but as far as booking an evening league, we're booked solid from 4 p.m. until we close Monday through Friday now," said Tony Guerrieri, a third-year golf professional at the Twin Lakes location. We have multiple leagues each night. The golf industry is shrinking and courses are slowly closing. It's a luxury for us because we capture that audience (from the other courses). A lot of them had never come to our golf course because there were other courses to go to. Now that a few golf courses are closed in the Portage County area, we capture all that audience."
Oak Knolls Golf Course on S.R. 43 and the Kent State University Golf Course on S.R. 59 both announced in December that they would not reopen in 2017.
Formerly known as the Twin Lakes Country Club, The Fairways at Twin Lakes opened in 1923. It was a private facility until closing its doors in 2009. The Beck family purchased the facility in 2011.
The nearly 100-acre, 9-hole golf course is a 1923 David Ross design. Guerrieri said the "mint condition" of the course is a huge factor in drawing in players.
"All of the Donald Ross golf courses have a sort of uniqueness to them," Guerrieri said. "Their greens are special, the holes roll a different type of way. You can recognize a Donald Ross golf course when you play it. The entire time I have been here, all I have heard is good things about the golf course. People can't believe how nice it is. Some people see a golf course and they just see tees and greens. I don't think people really realize what goes into it. This is more than just a golf course. It's an important part of the community."
David Beck said this is the first season The Lodge at Twin Lakes, a 5,000-square-foot facility was built in 2014, will offer a full bar to golfers.
"This is our first year, on the golf course side, where we have had a liquor license," Beck said. He said the idea to attain a liquor license began when the building was first constructed in 2014.
"This golf course has always been an important part of the community, even when it was a country club, and that's something we recognized right away when we bought it," Beck said. "We want to make sure we continue that. We finally feel like, with the liquor license, we really can provide for golfers in the community."
Buzz DiSalvo is entering his first season as a golf professional at the course.
"There's no comparison between this course and any other around if you ask me," DiSalvo said. "The greens are so smooth and the entire course is great."