KNOTTSVILLE— Since the announcement was made that Tygart Lake Golf Course (TLGC) was under new ownership, the community has been expressing their concerns about the fate of one of the area’s most valuable assets.
On January 1, 2020, with a heavy heart, previous owner and operator of the golf course Jody Westfall shared with the community, via a Facebook post, that the property had been officially transferred to Ark Land Management LLC, which is a subsidiary of Arch Coal.
The community immediately surrounded Westfall with an outpouring of love, support and understanding, wishing her the best and sharing memories.
“Thank you and Brad for all the great times we had out there and being able to play on such a great course,” commented Russell Spring.
While another individual told Westfall that TLGC was his favorite in all of the state.
According to Westfall, she and her husband Brad had run the Tygart Lake Golf Course for many years, until Brad’s passing in March 2016.
“After his passing, I leased the property to Carol Harvey, and she did an excellent job with it in the two years she had it. I decided to take back over last spring,” she shared.
However, running an entire golf course is no small task and became too much of an undertaking for Westfall to handle without her partner by her side.
“It was a tremendous undertaking,” Westfall added. “When Arch Coal approached me, I knew agreeing to relinquish the property to them was the right choice.”
She went on to explain that with the transfer came an agreement that the property would remain as an operational golf course.
“The golf course has been a large part of the community for many years. It draws in people from other communities and is utilized by our high school golf team. It is important to me that it remains as such,” she expressed.
While Westfall isn’t the owner any longer, she has full intentions of keeping the golf course close to her heart and will continue to work closely with Ark Land LLC, who will be leasing the property out.
“I have agreed that whomever manages the golf course, I will be ready and available to help out with anything they may need,” she revealed.
“I will always be grateful to Taylor County and the people of Grafton specifically for supporting TLGC and for the life-long friendships my girls and I have made along the way,” Westfall wrote. “You’ve meant the world to me and your support this past year has been a blessing. Thank you everyone!”
Ark Land released a statement regarding their recent deal with Westfall.
“Ark Land has had a business relationship with Mr. and Mrs. Westfall for a number of years. Late last year, Ark Land and Mrs. Westfall agreed to a transaction that allowed Ark Land to purchase the golf course,” the release states.
Continuing, the release noted that Ark Land understands the importance of TLGC to the community and will work to maintain its role here.
“Ark Land is working to ensure top rate management and operation of the course and fully expects to re-open the facility in the near term in time for the regular golf season. Ark Land acknowledges the long tradition of the Tygart Lake Golf Course within the community and its important role in offering patrons a quality venue in which to enjoy golf,” it read.
It appears as Ark Land has stayed true to their word, as shortly after they released their statement it was announced that Grafton local, Todd Williams would be leasing and managing the property.
Williams brings with him a multitude of experience when it comes to operating a successful golf course. He shared that he runs a smaller course in Philippi and has the knowledge and drive to keep his hometown course thriving.
“I’ve been playing golf here since I was a young boy, and now I have a son of my own that learned to play on this course. We have a lot of labor ahead, but I am ready to put in the work necessary to continue on the long running tradition of Tygart Lake Golf Course, as well as making some improvements to better serve the community,” he expressed.
Since signing the contract with Ark Land, Williams has been working around the clock, making repairs to the bar/restaurant area of clubhouse and preparing to lay new flooring in that space. He also has upcoming projects slated that include seeding the greens and modernizing the rest of the clubhouse with new flooring in the future, as well.
He revealed that he has brought on well-seasoned cook Sandy Sheme to manage the kitchen. Sheme will be serving up a variety of snacks and bar foods for those looking to make a quick stop to fuel up before finishing their round of golf, but will also be extending the menu and serving good ol’ homecooked meals for dinner.
The clubhouse restaurant hopes to continue serving alcoholic beverages, which is contingent upon the Taylor County Commission’s approval.
Excited to start his new journey and knowing that the community is full of golfers eager to grab their clubs and swing for par, Williams disclosed that the Tygart Lake Golf Course would be open for business beginning today at 7:00 a.m.
“Despite the little projects here and there that still need completed, I’m ready to get the community out here enjoying the course,” he added.
He went on to say that he will be hosting a public meeting on Saturday, March 21 at 4:00 p.m., to allow residents to come out, enjoy some food and drinks, as Williams introduces himself as the new owner and shares plans for the course.
Additionally, Williams wanted golfers to be aware that evening league golfing will be starting up mid-April. Interested individuals can keep an eye on the golf course’s Facebook page for more details.
The young aspiring golfers of the area will also have the opportunity to receive golf instructions for free.
According to Williams, the lessons are projected to kick off in June and will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m., every Sunday throughout the summer.
Rates for the 2020 season are as follows: Monday- Friday, $25, until 4:00 p.m. after 4:00 p.m., the cost is reduced to $20. The weekend rate is $30, and seniors 60 years of age and over are given a discounted rate of $22.
Season passes that were purchased prior to the change in ownership will still be honored.
Take advantage of the warmer weather this weekend and head out to support the Tygart Lake Golf Course. The course will be open daily at 7:00 a.m., weather permitting, with no defined closing time, as of now.
Stay up to date with the golf course by following their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/tygartlakegolf, or call 304-265-3100 for any questions.