Local country club closes abruptly

“Market conditions” forced Gem City Golf Club, formerly Greene Country Club, to close its doors Tuesday, said Zachary Fink, a prospective owner who ran operations at the private facility.

“This is a tough market. We just didn’t have enough members or rounds of golf being played,” Fink said of the country club on Dayton-Yellow Springs Road near Fairborn.

Fink began running the business in March, and the country club changed its name from Greene to Gem City the same month. He signed an agreement to buy the club from 31 investors, but Fink said the deal was never consummated.

“It’s a difficult situation, but the investors did not get their act together. We did not sign any documentation,” Fink said.

Just two weeks ago, the country club’s restaurant, The Grille at Gem City Golf Club, joined Facebook and announced it would be open to the public.

The club’s 156-acre, 7,000-yard par 72 golf course was completed in 1960. The club has changed ownership several times in recent years.

Fink said the club doubled the number of members from 100 to 200 in the last four months, but only 50 were “traditional members” who paid full fees.

“People see all of the money thrown around with the PGA and think there is plenty of money to go around for golf courses. This area is too saturated,” he said.

When asked about refunds for members, Fink said he could not comment.

Fink also owns other golf-related businesses in the area, including Magic Castle and Rollandia Golf Center, which he said is not doing as well as he wanted but remains open.

The club had 40 employees, mostly part-time, who were notified the closing was coming, Fink said.

“I feel bad for the employees and the membership, but the revenue was not coming in,” Fink said.

John Marks of Beavercreek told the Dayton Daily News in an email that he joined the club in May. He said members had heard a rumor of a closing, but no communication had been sent to them.

Members of the club’s investor board could not be reached for comment.

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