U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, appointed Edinburgh Golf, L.P. as the manager of Pittsburgh National Golf Club, effective immediately. Edinburgh Golf’s principal
is industry veteran Colin Dunwoody, who owns and operates St. Jude Golf Club in Chicora, Butler County, consistently ranked as one of the 20 most challenging courses in Western Pennsylvania.
It is anticipated that Pittsburgh National will emerge from bankruptcy by the end of 2011, at which time Dunwoody will also become majority owner of the golf club. With more than 30 years of experience in the golf industry, including many years as a consultant specializing in agronomics, renovation, course construction and golf club operations, as well as being a course superintendent/course manager in Europe earlier in his career, Dunwoody brings a wealth of acumen and the financial resources to help the club overcome challenges it has faced over the last few years.
“Pittsburgh National is a fantastic property with a great golf course that needs a bit of T-L-C and some financial investment to address the issues they’ve experienced,” said Dunwoody. “While there have been some problems, I believe it offers tremendous upside potential to share and leverage resources with St. Jude and provides some economies of scale. We’ve already begun to implement a number of short-term improvements and are planning for how best to achieve our longer term goals to bring the property back to its former glory. Our intention, in fact, is to make it even more exceptional than it was before.”
Immediate improvements being made include:
• Replacement and upgrade of golf carts which have experienced mechanical issues this season
• Restoration of the practice area, including the driving range, which is one of the only public grass ranges in the Greater Pittsburgh area
• Implementation of an aerification program for the fairways
• Reconditioning of the greens
• Immediately updating the restaurant menu, with a re-launch as a full service restaurant and banquet facility at a later date
• Adding more staff positions to provide a higher level of customer service
“It’s been a tough summer and many courses around the area are struggling,” said Mark Bucci, Pittsburgh National’s golf course superintendent. “We’ve made great strides in just the last few weeks and the greens are really coming back. With Colin’s course management knowledge and an infusion of capital, we’ll be able to accelerate the speed of our improvements; I’m very excited by the possibilities for the club now and in the future.”
Moving forward, according to Dunwoody, they will evaluate the benefits of making Pittsburgh National a semi-private club and will determine what type of memberships will best suit the needs of area golfers. They may also add a new set of tees for senior players, and plan to establish an enhanced practice facility with clinics, a robust juniors program and an expanded schedule of private lessons, which are already currently available by appointment.
Jim Villani, a highly regarded, long-time PGA golf professional and a resident of The Links at Deer Run, the housing community adjacent to the Pittsburgh National property, says homeowners are encouraged by the announcement. “Many of our residents moved here to be close to the course, so we’re very pleased by the high priority being given to their short-term goals, as well as to the long-term improvements they’re planning. We believe not only will the changes add value to our properties, but will enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the club, as well.”
About Pittsburgh National
Pittsburgh National Golf Club, located in Gibsonia, Pa. (West Deer Township), is a public golf course on 189 rolling and wooded acres. It features an 18-hole, par 72, 6,933-yard championship golf course with bentgrass greens, tees and fairways, complemented by an appealing layout with no blind shots. It has a large practice facility featuring a 250-yard long, 70-yard wide grass driving range with open, heated hitting stalls available for year-round use. A large putting green and chipping area with sand bunkers completes the professionally groomed practice facility.
The championship course has played host to several professional and amateur events since opening in 1994 and is open to the public seven days a week. The restaurant, bar and banquet facility are currently being updated with a new menu and some cosmetic appointments, with additional changes planned for early 2012. The club is easily accessible from Pittsburgh, Butler and surrounding areas via Routes 8 and 910. For more information, visit pittsburghnationalgolfclub.com or call 724-265-4800.