Above: Staff members of the Burlington Golf Club are front row: Cody McCoy (service manager and events coordinator), Shyanne Zippe (pool manager), and Tiffani White (office manager). Back row: Tyler Potts (head chef), Matt Hall (superintendent), Tom Foutch (general manager), Rod Cain (facility manager), and Mason Blow (sous chef). Photo by Andy Schneider
By Beacon Staff
Founded in 1899, the Burlington Golf Club is a hidden gem for the city of Burlington, and according to its members, it is the oldest incorporated golf club west of the Mississippi River.
The continued success of the golf club is not an accident. Tom Foutch, the general manager, recently moved to the area from Denver and stressed the involvement of the club in the community, and the level of engagement the staff have with members.
“When someone comes in we already know their drink. They’re not only going to be greeted, but their drinks are also going to hit the table before they do. That is something we can do that no one else can do,” Foutch said.
“He (Matt Hall, head golf superintendent), knows the type of game that he can put together with members. He (Hall) knows how to set up our course for tournament play to address the needs of our members. Everything in the private club is personalized. No one can top us in that. No one.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people were looking for an outlet to remain active but also to safely distance from others.
“We had several new people pick up the game in that two to two-and-a-half year span, just because you couldn’t do anything else,” said Matt Baschke, head golf professional.
The outdoor activities that the Burlington Golf Club provides became a great resource.
The club offers golf, tennis, and pickleball, among other activities. A private pool is just one of the amenities.
The personal touch is felt everywhere, from the golf course to the restaurant.
COVID also increased the carry-out business of the club. The Burlington Golf Club had to adapt and offered carry-outs for major holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. Now that COVID restrictions have ended, the club is seeing an uptick in its dine-in business.
“There is a ‘new normal’ in a private club, because of COVID. That’s how it is everywhere because of COVID,” said Foutch.
The Bonnie Weaver Bar at the club offers a fantastic dine-in experience with a scenic view. The dining staff works as a team to provide the best possible service.
“We are huge on a team environment. Everyone from the front of the house to the back of the house works together as a team,” said Cassandra Ruckman, lead server.
The Burlington Golf Club offers a big-city experience in a small-city environment.
In a larger city, membership to a club of this level would be three times the membership cost, not to mention the travel requirements to get to a club with this level of experience, according to Foutch.
KC Fleming, a recruiter for Great River Medical Systems and a club member, spoke of the impression the Burlington Golf Club has made on those coming in from outside the community.
“To get the compliments like ‘best I’ve ever had,’ ‘greatest steak,’ amazing,’ ‘wonderful.’ The superlatives are used with sincerity,” he said.
The Burlington Golf Club has hosted several community events, including the annual Easter egg hunt, Fourth of July fireworks, and local proms. Also, sledding down the hills and valleys of the club is a favorite of area children.
The club is not resting on its laurels. The club is improving the golf course by redoing all of the bunkers.
The restaurant has continued to evolve, offering a wide variety of flavor profiles, while offering top-shelf customer interaction with its servers.
“Keeping everything new and everything exciting, that’s what makes it so special,” president Mike Nunn said.
The Burlington Golf Club will be hosting the IGA four-ball championship. This is a very prestigious event and was held in Ames last year.
Todd Hamilton, who won the British Open Championship, is even an honorary member of the club. Going above and beyond to provide members with the best possible experience, is what the Burlington Golf Club staff is dedicated to.
There are multiple types of memberships for those interested in joining. Interested parties can contact Tiffani White at (319) 752-2769 for further information.