Illinois National Bank sold Piper Glen Golf Course to a group of investors this month for $1.1 million.
Piper Glen Properties, LLC, managed by Bruce Thomas of Springfield, purchased the golf course on June 1. The other members of the investment group have not been disclosed, although Thomas says it's a small group with only local members.
Thomas, who has lived in Piper Glen subdivision for 11 years, says the decision to buy the course was driven in part by his passion for golf. He says he moved to Piper Glen when the course was in its heyday, and he was disappointed by its decline under a former owner.
Illinois National Bank foreclosed on the property from DMI Enterprises, LTD in 2015, seeking repayment of $1.7 million. INB's deal with Piper Glen Properties LLC sees the bank loaning the group $875,000 to mortgage the golf course, according to public documents.
Thomas lauds INB's maintenance of the course while seeking a buyer after the foreclosure.
"The course was in pretty bad shape in 2015," he said. "They made a big committment. You're looking at a bank that all of the sudden became a golf course owner, and one that was in bad shape, too. The fairways and greens are now in great shape, and we look forward to doing some more work on it."
He hopes the golf course sale puts to rest any speculation that it would be carved up into new residential lots.
"We really wanted to make a commitment to keep this a golf course and a golf community," he said.
Rodems Golf Management, based in Savoy near Champaign, will manage the course. Tony Rodems, managing member with Rodems Golf Management, says the company was first hired by INB to begin working on the course over the winter. He says the five-year contract with the new owners to manage Piper Glen allows his company to continue improving the course, including rebuilding bunkers, repairing cart paths and even renovating the clubhouse. Kim Egizii has been hired as clubhouse manager, while Bryan Cox is the course's new golf pro.
"Bruce and his team are committed," Rodems said. "They're really going to take Piper Glen back to its glory days."