By David Fleet
Atlas Twp.-The golf links of an iconic area course are beginning to look a lot greener.
After closing for about two years, the former Atlas Country Club, 8313 Perry Road is now under new ownership.
Oakland County business owner Dave Parker purchased the country club and links from the Henrickson family—who had owned the historic course for about 65 years.
“We have very high regard for the Henrickson Family,” said Parker. “Their legacy, work and dedication will be continued. Our intend is to plug into the local market and provide employment opportunities along with support for the community.”
Parker is no stranger to the golfing world. The Clarkston resident also upgraded the former Pontiac Municipal Golf Course, now the Links at Crystal Lake, after purchasing it from the city in 2013. The golf course is managed by Parker’s son, Ryan. The family also owns Parker’s Hilltop Brewery, 6110 Dixie Highway Clarkston which opened in 2015.
Dave Parker along with sons Ryan and David will form the course and country club management team.
The Atlas Valley Country Club spans about 150 acres, with an 18 hole golf course and country club facility. The plan is to open this spring with a few changes, including public golfing along with semiprivate memberships. Also, a new restaurant along with complete facilities for banquets and receptions.
The Kearsley Creek winds through the course adding some unique water challenges for golfers. Work on the greens and fairways began earlier this summer.
John Lewis, golf course superintendent along with a crew brought historic links back to life.
“The course conditions will improve tremendously since we started earlier this summer,” said Lewis. “It’s really a beautiful course and fun to play.”
The general public will be welcomed to try the course.
“The golf will be competitive priced for the market. An open tee time is lost revenue—so the green fees will be priced fair.”
The course will be a challenge, said Lewis.
“It has some remarkable elevation changes,” he said. “Some of the tees are 50 to 75 foot changes in elevation and the Kearsley Creek provides a few unique challenges.”
After sitting unmoved for several month, Lewis hired a local farmer who removed 45 round bales from the course.
“It was unmowed and not kept,” he said. “We worked two months solid to get the course to playable height. We are now mowing fairways at fairways height and greens at green height.”