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CHANGING COURSE: The Island Greene Golf Club in Republic soon will be the third local course under ownership of GreatLife Golf & Fitness.
SBJ file photo
CHANGING COURSE: The Island Greene Golf Club in Republic soon will be the third local course under ownership of GreatLife Golf & Fitness.

Island Green gets new owners

GreatLife Golf & Fitness will be the course's third operator in the last two years

Posted online

The Island Green Golf Club in Republic soon will be a GreatLife Golf & Fitness course.

The Kansas-based company, which also owns and operates two other local golf courses, is in the process of purchasing the Island Green Golf Club. The course has had a shuffle of operators in recent years.

GreatLife Golf & Fitness has managed the Republic golf course since March 1 after the previous course operator, IG Investments LLC, exited, said company founder Rick Farrant. He said the course was closed for a handful of days before GreatLife Golf & Fitness took over per an agreement with the original owners, the Boatright family.

Beverly Boatright, daughter of the late course developer Dale Boatright, said IG Investments signed a lease for purchase agreement in 2018 but was unable to complete the purchase. She said IG Investments, which is owned by Jake Crutcher of Crutcher Custom Homes, had difficulties securing investments, which led her to find a new owner for the course. Crutcher did not return requests for comment by press time.

“Things didn’t work out completely for them,” Boatright said. “I’m very appreciative of their work. They’re great people, and they did a lot of improvements to the course.”

As of press time, Farrant said GreatLife Golf & Fitness was “really close” to finalizing the deal for Island Green Golf Club. Boatright said the deal is likely to close by the end of the month.

Dale and Jane Boatright created the course in 1999. Dale died in 2014. The 18-hole, 7,000-yard course is known for its namesake No. 15 hole.

Farrant said GreatLife Golf & Fitness is under a short-term lease agreement with the Boatright family to operate the course until the company closes on the purchase. Terms of the lease agreement and purchase price were not disclosed. In 1999, the course had an estimated value of $6 million, according to SBJ archives.

“They’ve always had an interest in the course, and the timing was never right,” Boatright said of GreatLife Golf & Fitness. “It’s going to be a great value for the community with all of the benefits you get from being a member there.”

Jeanine Farrant, general manager of Island Green Golf Club, said GreatLife Golf & Fitness honored all previous memberships until April 1. She said Crutcher was operating on a monthly membership basis, which made the transition smoother for the company.

The GreatLife Golf & Fitness membership plan will look slightly different, she said. The company offers a membership of $45 a month, which includes access to each GreatLife Golf & Fitness course. The company also owns the Deer Lake course in northwest Springfield and Greene Hills Country Club in Willard.

The company operates courses in Missouri, Kansas and South Dakota, and Rick Farrant said all members have access to the 70 golf courses across the three states.

Jeanine Farrant said most of the former Island Green members have transferred their memberships to GreatLife Golf & Fitness. She declined to disclose how many members were currently signed on with the course. She also said the course’s three employees stayed on amid the ownership change.

“We have been very busy,” she said, adding the course is still open amid COVID-19. “Our members are happy we’ve remained open because they’re able to get out and exercise.”

Golf courses are considered essential under the city’s stay-at-home order. In the Springfield area, there are 25 golf courses operating with at least 18 holes.

A few miles northeast of Island Green Golf Club, work was recently completed on a driving range with climate-controlled bays and Toptracer Range technology. Called Backwoods Golf, the 19-acre development is located across from Republic High School. Co-owner Austin Cloud recently said the opening was delayed due to COVID-19 concerns.

Jeanine Farrant said GreatLife Golf & Fitness has plans to open the Island Green Golf Club pool once the coronavirus pandemic passes and to add a fitness center to the property this winter. She said no other changes are planned for the course at this time.

“The space isn’t utilized like it could be, and we’re trying to make it more family-friendly,” she said. “We’ll have a facility that the whole family will enjoy, even if you’re not a golfer.”

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