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A graphic depicting The Golf Club of Camelot, Horicon Hills Golf Club and West Bend Lakes Golf Club

And Then There Were Three ... Membership Programs Change Drastically in 2016!

The Merkel Family is proud to announce a radical change in the 2016 membership program at all 3 family owned courses. Basically, what that means is that you will be receiving golf privileges at 3 courses for the price of one. What a great way to make your recreation dollar stretch farther. We have eliminated the reciprocal fee for our members when playing at Camelot, Horicon Hills or West Bend Lakes Golf Clubs.

Simply, if you have a weekday membership at one course and want to play during the week at one of the other two courses, all you have to do is make a tee time with your membership number. You and any applicable players in your tee time will be asked to present their membership cards when checking in. The same process is true for full members except that they will be able to play on any day of the week.

There are of course some procedures which must be followed:

  • Be sure you have made the tee time at the proper course
  • Golf cart memberships do not transfer from one course to another

Changes at Horicon Hills

Our major emphasis has been improving the entire irrigation system. Starting in the pump house, new pumps and computers were installed. The two worn out 20 horse pumps were replaced with 40 and 60 horse motors. State of the art computer and control panels are also in place. About 25% of all the pipes are presently replaced along with new valves. The remainder of pipes will be finished next year. Over 300 new heads have already been purchased and another 300 will be added in spring. By this time next year the new system should be completely operational. The original quote for the system exceeded $500,000. Because of a few good deals and doing much of the work in-house we finished about 20% under budget.

For safety reasons, we redesigned the first tee. This created several lower tees and made the parking lot less in danger of errant drives off the tee. Nick and the crew also started an extensive tree removal and pruning process that will continue this winter and into next season.

Several other tees were rebuilt and that process will continue. With the purchase of new equipment, carts and building remodeling, it is projected that we will make nearly 1 million dollars of improvements over this and the next 2 years.

As true with all our courses, we never stop making improvements. Be sure to let us know what you think of our efforts so far.

The Merkel Family has agreed with the city of Horicon on the purchase of Rock River Hills golf course in Horicon. The Merkel group offered $420,000 for the 18-hole course. Over the years the Merkel family, have purchased 5 golf courses. With the addition of Rock river hills it will make 6 with 3 being currently owned by them. The Merkel family group over the years has truly been a group. The Merkel group owners in the past were brothers Lee, Bob, Jon, Jim, Rich and sister Kay, also son Tom and daughter Laura. Other family members that are presently involved consist of Chris, Stephanie, Cameron, Deb, Zach, Lindy, Max, Jody, Mia, and Danelle.

"Our family has a history of taking distressed courses and bringing them back," said Jim Merkel. The Rock River Hills course, built in 1966-67, was owned by the city of Horicon. "The managing group operating the course did not want to continue and the opportunity was there for us," Jim Merkel said.

The Merkel's believe the close proximity between West Bend, Horicon and Lomira will help with the operation of all three courses. All 3 courses have rates that are comparable and all 3 courses have the same semi private model for operations. Jim Merkel said "The one thing he wanted to make clear was the family is not out to change everything. Rock River Hill model runs pretty close to our models and we're just going to try and enhance the property,"

Some of the constructive upgrades planed include taking care of deferred maintenance like upgrading the irrigation system, newer equipment for grounds maintenance, revitalize the banquet halls, apply a fresh coat of paint, some new carpeting and changing the name of the course to Horicon Hills Golf Club.

Welcome to Horicon Hills Golf Club!
(Formerly Rock River Hills Golf Club)
Thursday, November 20, 2014

We know there has been a lot of talk over the last few months about the future of your golf club. We would like to put those rumors to rest and hopefully put your fears to rest as well. As you may know, earlier this week, the Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to finalize the sale of the course to The Merkel Family. Both sides are working diligently to see if we can wrap this matter up by the first of the year.

To introduce ourselves, we currently own and operate The Golf Club at Camelot in Dodge County (16 years) and West Bend Lakes in Washington County (21 years). We have a history of taking distressed courses and turning them into facilities that we and our communities are proud of. Our plan is to make Rock River Hills a course that you can be proud to say is your own!

We have started the process by naming Jim Merkel as General Manager. He will be your hands on representative and will be on property on a daily basis. He can be reached at (262) 305-7735. Lindy Rohlinger will be our Food and Beverage Manager. We will also send support staff from our existing courses, from time to time, to assist in the training of the new staff. Most positions will be filled at a "Job Outing" held at Camelot on Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 from 1-4 p.m. (We will be hiring for all 3 clubs at that time.)

As a way of assuring you that we are here for the long run, we have decided that if you renew your membership before January 31, 2015, we will honor the 2014 membership rates. After January 31, you may see a slight increase.

Thanks for your time and we hope this is the beginning of a great relationship.

The Merkel Family,
Jim Merkel - Lee Merkel- Bob Merkel

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