Lakewood Village President Writes Her Turnberry Neighbors about the Problems of the Turnberry Country Club

Trunberry Country Club in Lakewood, Illinois

The Turnberry Country Club is having financial problems. That’s been rumored for quite a while.

But the club did not declare bankruptcy.

The ownership is in transition says Lakewood Village President Erin Smith. Her husband Mike was the last president of the not-for-profit organization, a non-paid position.

Turnberry County Club's "Members Only" sign

And, probably a thankless job.

Village President Smith is

“confident the club will reopen in the spring.”“This is not the first time the ownership model has changed.

“Originally, the club was owned by the developer. Then, it changed into a member-owned club and now the ownership model is changing again.

“The rumor that the village will step in and purchase Turnberry County Club is without merit. The village is not in a financial position to do that.

“We can’t afford a clubhouse for the course we already own.”

Red Tail Golf Club Trailer Club House owned by the Village of Lakewood

“The difficulty stems strictly from dramatic loss of members,” Mike Smith said.

“In 2004, the equity membership was about 210. When we voted as a remaining membership to dissolve the not-for-profit organization in December, we had approximately forty equity members.“As a board our imperative was to make sure we met all our external obligations, which included both weddings and external holiday parties, as well as to make sure all the employees got paid what they were due.

“We accomplished that.

“I agreed to become the interim president to facilitate the orderly transition of ownership.

“The misinformation and the misunderstandings throughout the community never ceases to amaze me.

“The Village of Lakewood doesn’t owner or operate or subsidize any facet of Turnberry Country Club’s operations. It is a private entity, owned and operated and funded by its membership.”

Below is the letter that Village President Erin Smith has sent to her neighbors in the Turnberry Property Owners Association:

To My Neighbors in the Turnberry Property Owners Association,

Lakewood Village President is seen talking to constituents in a crowded Meridian Street home.

I know that many of you read the article in the Northwest Herald today regarding Turnberry Country Club, and I am sure that you probably have outstanding questions that were not adequately addressed.

As Village President, and as a neighbor that lives on the golf course, I want to reassure you that the Village Board and Village Staff are deeply committed to supporting the efforts of the appointed receiver in quickly and seamlessly transitioning the ownership of Turnberry Country Club.

Membership at Turnberry Country Club (TCC) declined significantly in this economy, and the number of equity members that remained was insufficient to support the existing cost structure of the club.

In response, the TCC Board of Directors dissolved the non-profit entity in order to facilitate an orderly transition of ownership.

The club did not declare bankruptcy and the remaining membership was committed to fulfilling outstanding obligations up to the point of transition.  Filing for receivership and appointing a receiver to manage the process was a necessary step in facilitating the transition of ownership.

Although I cannot make any guarantees or announcements regarding new ownership at this time, I can tell you that all parties involved are very optimistic that the club will reopen in the spring as it normally does.

I guarantee that our Village Board and Village Staff understand the significance of this club to your property values.

We have taken steps to ensure that all parties involved understand that Village ordinance requires that the property is properly maintained, and that our neighborhood covenants require that this property remains a private golf course.

There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future ownership model, and I look forward to the time when I can share more information with you.  In the meantime, I would encourage each of you to remain positive when talking with others about the future of the club.  This is the one thing that each of us can do in support of property values in our neighborhood.

If you have other questions that I have not addressed and that you believe I will be in a position to answer, please contact me at your convenience:  815-356-8005 or .



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