Golf

New Green Acres Golf Course owners plan changes to course, bar, restaurant

www.mlive.com

BRIDGEPORT, MI – Herb Jankowsky wanted a bar. His wife, Alanna Darrow, wanted a restaurant.

The golf course was just a nice bonus.

The Frankenmuth couple became the new owners of Green Acres Golf Course in October and have spent the past six months remodeling, changing and planning for the course, bar and restaurant.

“Because of the pandemic, we were both working at home, and maybe we were just getting tired of each other,” Jankowsky said. “Seriously, my wife is a great cook and baker and always wanted to own a restaurant. I’ve always wanted to run a bar. It seemed perfect.”

Jankowski, 34, is a mechanical engineer at Nexteer, while Darrow retired from her job as an accountant for Mott Community College to focus on Green Acre’s new restaurant, the Dogleg Bar and Grill. They have a 1-year-old daughter, Lucy.

“The golf course is still the attraction,” Jankowsky said. “From talking to people, what we’ve found is that the golf course has been pretty consistent since it opened in 1960. The restaurant and the bar has had its ups and downs.

“We want to create a great experience not just on the course, but at the bar and restaurant.”

Since buying the course, Jankowsky and Darrow have remodeled the restaurant, replacing the floor and painting the walls. They are in the process of remodeling the pro shop.

There also changes planned for the course. Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) officials visited the course Monday to rate the course.

“It’s the first time it’s been done since 1987, so any slope rating or distance or anything like that has been the same for more than 30 years,” Jankowsky said. “It was something that needed to be done.

“The first thing we did on the course was cut the rough. It was probably around a foot, foot and a half, and we heard a lot of complaints. So that’s been cut to make it fair, and to speed up the golf.”

They also plan to change the sequence of the final holes, making the par-5 16 the new 18th hole and moving the par-3 18 to the new No. 16.

“No. 15 is a par 5, so we had back-to-back par 5s, with a par 3 to end the round,” Jankowsky said. “It used to be the other way around, so we’re basically just switching the holes to the way they were. It only makes sense. The par 5 is a great way to end the round, and it’s a great hole that ends at the clubhouse.”

The couple also remodeled the living space above the clubhouse, turning it into a 2,300-square foot apartment with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

“We listed it on Airbnb, and it’s a perfect place for a golf weekend for a group,” Jankowsky said. “It can sleep up to 10.”

The purchase also included the undeveloped land south of the course to Curtis Road.

“Long-term, there are a lot of options for that property,” Jankowsky said. “One thought is to build a convention or conference center that would overlook the course, maybe with a pond. You could have weddings or conferences there. There are a lot of potential uses for that property.”

For now, Jankowsky and Darrow are focusing on the restaurant, bar and golf course.

“Just about everything we have will be homemade … we will avoid pre-packaged and frozen food if at all possible,” Darrow said. “I love cooking. I love fresh food, from our burgers to our chicken wings to chicken tenders to cheesecake. It will not be pre-packaged.

“I think the golf course, bar and restaurant all complement each other. People can enjoy the course, and that brings them to the bar and restaurant. We want to create a situation where golfers and people who don’t golf can enjoy their entire experience here.”

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