Local Business

KemperSports to manage Bull Valley Golf Club

WOODSTOCK – A golf club that once was in jeopardy of foreclosure has selected nationally recognized KemperSports to manage its day-to-day operations.

The Bull Valley Golf Club selected the Northbrook-based management company in hopes of making the club a top golf destination for players in the greater Chicago and Milwaukee area, club owner Gary Rabine said.

“Kemper is the best,” Rabine said. “It's an exciting opportunity for us and our team to have someone of their stature.”

Rabine, whose company bought the Bull Valley Golf Club for less than $2 million in 2012, said KemperSports stood out from other management companies for its marketing ability and the amenities it could offer the club off the golf course.

“We have a spectacular golf superintendent,” Rabine said. “He doesn't need their help when it comes to keeping the course in amazing shape. … We're focusing on events, and they are going to take that to another level.”

Rabine said that with the help of KemperSports, Bull Valley Golf Club will be a premiere destination for weddings and parties, as the management company will improve everything from the quality of food service to increasing brand awareness.

“In the golf world, these guys are really focused on the brand,” he said. “It's the Kemper brand, but [they'll focus on] the Bull Valley brand. It's who we're going to be. I didn't see any of that from the other competitors in the marketplace.”

The Bull Valley Golf Club was bought for $7.7 million in 2005, according to Crain's Chicago Business. On the brink of foreclosure in 2011, it was rescued by Capmark Bank in Utah for less than $4 million, before being sold to the Rabine Group.

KemperSports plans to bring a level of stability to the golf club and elevate the golfing experience at Bull Valley, said Doug Hellman, senior vice president at KemperSports.

“KemperSports knows the Chicagoland golf market better than anybody,” Hellman said. “We'll leverage all of our resources in our 34 years of experience to elevate the experience at Bull Valley.”

KemperSports manages golf courses across the country, and is no stranger to taking over financially strapped courses. It was hired in 2010 to turn around Turnberry Country Club in Lakewood.

Bull Valley Golf Club has received numerous awards from national golf publications, including being ranked as the 19th best golf course in the state by Golf Digest in its biannual state-by-state ranking. Hellman said KemperSports will make Bull Valley Golf Club a destination for golfers throughout the midwest.

“There are not a lot of courses in Chicago that can match the character of what Bull Valley has,” Hellman said. “We'll make it well worth the effort to go the extra distance to get to Bull Valley.”

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