Rich Smith, PGA, the recently retired CEO from the North Florida Section of the PGA of America, has purchased his first golf course under his new management company, Cloud Ten! Marketing Group LLC. Ironically, the new acquisition, Bobcat Trail Golf Club in Northport, Florida, was the the club he left to take the job of leading the fourth largest section of the PGA of America.
Shortly after closing the deal, Rich invested over $2 million in restoring the golf course and clubhouse, and renaming it Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club. Smith said, “The golf course layout at Bobcat is phenomenal, probably one of the best on the Sun Coast, but needed some TLC (tender loving care) in addition to some cultural changes. With the things we are doing, which would not be considered industry norm, we are investing in the game, and it is already paying dividends. Our core tenet is to provide a fun and exceptional place to play with service superior to the rest of the market, which has been scaling back at many facilities over the last decade.”
Smith seems to have the magic touch. Members and customers at the semi-private facility are absolutely enamored with what has been accomplished by Smith’s team. Currently he and his company Cloud Ten! are not only looking at other facilities to purchase, but the word of this renaissance has been sweeping southwest Florida. In fact, other golf courses have contacted Rich for suggestions, guidance, as well as management and/or purchase agreements.
With over 30 years experience in the golf industry, Smith has his sights set rather high, not only in golf, but in entertainment. Cloud Ten! has projects developing in professional basketball, events and general entertainment.
“One step at a time. Right now we are 100% focused on Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club,” continued Smith. “All of our other plans have separate project managers, who will drive those areas of our business under my guidance.”
The Sorenstam Academy has moved to Charlotte Harbor with Charlotta, Annika’s sister, in charge of the teaching. Well respected PGA professional Mike Domalske has been named the Head Professional at the “Cat”, the nickname for the golf course, and is starting in January, 2018. The Clubhouse has ‘Cahoots Bar & Grill’ which is expanding its menu led by Executive Chef Thomas Thompson CEC, who is director of culinary operations. The centerpiece is the awesome championship golf course designed by 1986 PGA Champion Bob Tway and Lee Singletary. With the improvements, both physical and cultural, Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club at Bobcat Trail is positioned to become the leader in excellence in the Sun Coast area.
The club is located conveniently between US 41 and I-75 off exit 179 in Northport. For more information go to GolftheNational.com or call 941-429-0500. Try it, you’ll like it.