The St. James Golf Course is getting new ownership. A father and son who are already the owners of a local business are in the process of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s to complete the transaction.
According to Klarice Rinne and his son Matt, working out the details of the sale are a formality. The Rinnes say all parties have agreed to the terms of the sale.
Klarice said they got the keys to the course last Friday. The father and son moved fast to close the deal. They first heard about the course being for sale on March 6, and they had the keys to the place by March 29.
Some of the rumors floating around were that the course wasnt’ going to open up this year, that the course might be put up for auction and that it might be turned into farm ground.
Matt said, “Being part of the community, we didn’t want to see that happen. This (the golf course) is a good thing for our community.”
Klarice has worked a job in Mankato for many years and he’s made a daily commute to that job. He said it always felt good to get back to St. James at night. “St. James needs this place, and we wanted to step up.”
The miserable weather in March already delayed the opening of the course. Right now the new owners are shooting for an April 15 opening if the weather cooperates. Worst case would be May 1 according to Matt.
Matt stressed that St. James Golf Course is not a private club. It is a public course that anyone can come and play. There will be memberships offered. A single membership will be $595 and a family membership will be $750.
A membership letter was scheduled to go out this week. It was going to detail the various levels of membership, early bird discounts and discounts available to previous members.
Klarice, a 1980 graduate of St. James High School is the owner of Buckshots Bar in Butterfield. Matt, a 2005 graduate of St. James High, is the general manager of Buckshots.
Klarice bought the bar about a year ago, and Matt’s marketing efforts and strategies have made the bar a success.
The father and son team are looking to apply some of those same marketing concepts to St. James Golf Course.
One focus of Matt, who will be the General Manger of the golf course and the restaurant said that a focus of the business will be upgrading the restaurant menu and services.
Page 2 of 2 - “We’re going to have breakfast specials and lunch specials. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday we want to offer a fine dining menu,” Matt said.
This might include menu items like filet mignon, prime rib, lobster and other seafood according to Matt. This high end dining will offer elegant wines according to Matt.
Matt will be moving over to manage the golf course and restaurant. Klarice is quitting his day job in Mankato and taking over the operation of Buckshots.
Matt says he’s on a quick learning curve when it comes to managing a golf course, but the Rinnes say they already have an excellent grounds crew at the golf course.
The father, son team is thinking about having a ‘Rusty Swing’ tourney at the start of the golf season. It would be for the customers who take advantage of the early bird membership offers.