The real estate listing reads: "Ready to own a golf course?"
Well, are you?
The current owners of the Pine Creek Golf Club in Mason City – Brian and Andy Buntenbach – think the listing price of $229,000 is a real steal for a 20-acre tract of land that has plenty of possibilities as a golf course or anything else the new owners might want it for.
"It's a nice piece of property out here," said Brian, who with his brother Andy run the family business and take care of all the mowing and maintenance, running the clubhouse and all golf outings. "If the price is right, you can do with it what you want."
But deep down, Brian hopes the new owners will keep it as is and continue to offer "good golf at a very reasonable price" on a unique course with beautiful trees, creek bridges, nice vistas and much more.
For 29 years now, Brian and Andy have continued to make improvements at Pine Creek, lengthening the yardage on many of the holes and making the greens a little more challenging on one of the area's only 9-hole, par-3 executive courses by making some two-tiered.
"We always wanted to own our own golf course, so we decided to go for it," said Brian, who along with area golfer John Fitzgerald has the course record of 25 strokes (three times). "Then, over a few whiskeys one day, we decided to turn this course into one you can use all of your clubs. It's longer than it once was and is more challenging. It was a big decision, but we wanted a premiere executive golf course."
Brian said there have been about 10-12 showings the past year, two of which "look promising." He stays in contact with those potential buyers, but they have yet to go for the green.
While he doesn't know what is in store for Pine Creek when he and his brother walk away, Brian has heard from many of the people who have looked at the course that they would keep the operation as is, making it a true turnkey business.
"We could turn the keys over and if somebody had some know-how, they wouldn't miss a beat," he said. "It's a lot of work, but we love it. I think the right buyer taking over would love it, too."
Brian and Andy both said that they have pushed only the golf aspect of the business, but the potential for the other parts of a golf club – the restaurant and bar business, as well as putting on golf outings and special events in the large banquet space/party room – is definitely there.
"If someone wanted to put a little money into updating the clubhouse, the banquet area and the kitchen, it could be a thriving business," Brian said.
And as an added bonus, there is a three-bedroom, one-bath apartment above the the pro shop that Brian says could easily be updated and rented out for additional income.
"The apartment offers a beautiful view of the first hole," Brian said. "It has a big kitchen and three pretty large bedrooms. It's definitely got promise."
Also included in the selling price is large building to store the equipment – a special mower for cutting greens, a large zero-turn mower and other equipment used for upkeep of the course.
The Buntenbachs will also throw in most of the golf carts offered now at Pine Creek. Brian said he and his brother might want to keep a couple for their next landing spot as both still love to golf.
"It's easy-going out here and right now the course is in great shape," Brian said. "It's a fun little course. What I love about Pine Creek is that it's easy to get on, easy to walk and has it's challenging holes."
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