Tuesday August 8, 2017

Par for Course: Oswego Country Club Gets Upgraded

Fabled club features updated bar, restaurant and pool
By Matthew Liptak

    The new fire pit at the Oswego Country Club

    The Oswego Country Club, 610 W. First St., Oswego, has completed most of its $700,000 renovation. The facility now includes an updated restaurant, bar areas, outdoor fire pit and pool and expects to complete renovation of its locker rooms by early next year.


    “As a board we made a conscious effort last year to look at the facilities that we had in hopes of giving them a little bit of a renovation to match what we feel is a great golf course,” said the club's first vice president, Matthew Bacon.


    Board members realized that the club facilities were getting a bit dated. They wanted the quality of the infrastructure to match that of the golf course itself. Bacon said the board considers the golf course a “hidden gem” of Central New York. They want the other offerings to follow suit.


    When you have assets like this awesome course and we had a dated building and a dated dining room, it just didn't match what as a club we were trying to achieve,” said Atom Avery, the club’s chairman of the building committee. “I think that we've achieved that with the upgrades that we've done.”


    The course was founded in 1897, and the restaurant still had a 1950s or ‘60s feel. The board wanted the facilities to be a place members could be comfortable taking business clients to.


    “People are definitely hearing about us,” Avery said. “We're excited. We're thrilled that people are looking at us as a place to come and have business lunches. We kind of lost that. That's something we're looking to do more of and we're happy to do.”


    The club membership is aging and there is an effort to attract younger generations to the services of the club while keeping the traditional members happy. They want to attract members to not only use the club, but also live in the community.


    “We really view this as our membership stepping up to beautify the club and try to get the next generation of families and golfers in our community,” Avery said. “Sometimes people chose to live in Onondaga County when we have a beautiful place to live here in Oswego County.”


    The leadership is promoting the social benefits of the club and advertising mostly online to reach out to younger audiences that can be specifically targeted through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Avery said.


    “We want to be reflective of what the community looks like,” Bacon said. “I think there's a pretty vibrant Millennial, Gen X group that's still in the area and we want them to be part of our club.”


    Currently, according to the club's own statistics, 71 percent of membership is 50 or older.


    The renovation effort has been a group undertaking and required the approval of the entire membership to make the investment, Avery said.


    “We had our vote March 5,” he said. “We pulled our permit March 6 and we went to work.”


    The results are impressive. There is now a clean, elegant dining room in the restaurant available not only to members but also for private events for the public to book. The outdoor fire pit is comfortable and spacious. The golf course is being maintained up to its previous standards.


    The board members said the price for a full family membership for one year was around $2,700.


    With the implementation of the upgrades morale of the club staff has improved. “I think especially our restaurant staff is reinvigorated,” Bacon said. “It necessarily gives you a boost to up your game.”


    The restaurant owner, Chris Carpenter, was one of the people who went above and beyond to make the renovation successful.


    “We've even had memberships like John Sharky and Larry Morgia, anonymous donors, and even our operator Chris Carpenter that put their own money into extra projects,” Avery said. “To me that's pretty awesome to have members step out of the box.”


    There will be some additional adjustments to the club. State Route 48 out front is going through extensive repairs.


    “They're taking by eminent domain about 12 feet of us and they're going to put up a retaining wall very similar to what's kitty corner to Lowe's,” Avery said. “It's going to look like a new entrance on 48. I think it will look nice.”


    To compliment what both Avery and Bacon agreed was the club's new lease on life, it will be offering a special membership offer. Those who join in September will get two months of membership for free.


    The Oswego Country Club is not done in making its new vision of the organization a reality, but it's well on its way. Members are already able to enjoy some of the improvements. It's all to further one main goal.


    “We're looking to bring some more vibrancy to the club,” Avery said.

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 159

Issue 159
December 2018/January 2019

Cover Story


Don Hilton

On The Job

On The Job

Success Stories

Oswego County OB-GYN, P.C.

My Turn

Media Monopoly. How Dangerous Can It Be?

Economic Trends

County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency Presents Annual Report

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Katie Toomey