Sportsman's Country Club hopes to hook some new members with a newly renovated clubhouse bar and dining lounge.
But the club at 4001 NW 39 Expressway, which opened in 1949, is getting more than a face-lift. Directors brought in new management to lead fundraising and improve the place inside and out.
“It's a new day. We're looking forward to showing our members and the community the new look of the club and the additional services and amenities we've added over the last four months,” said Ken Whittington, president of the board. “I'm excited about the future and where we're headed.”
Directors hired Tom Wynn, a Ponca City native, as general manager in September. He has 13 years in club and hospitality management and has a degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Oklahoma State University.
Wynn previously managed the now-defunct Petroleum Club in Tulsa. He was hired to manage the deeply troubled Tulsa club a year ago but with its membership having fallen by half in just two years, it was too far gone and closed in July. Previously, Wynn managed an On The Border restaurant in Tulsa.
Sportsman's Country Club is not in such dire straits — but Wynn said it has seen better days. He said 1994 was its most successful year, with some 1,200 members. Now it has between 500 and 600 members and could use another 100 to be sustainable, he said.
“We are staying out of the red by the seat of our pants,” he said. “It's not a secret. All country clubs, except for Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club and Southern Hills in Tulsa, are suffering.”
Oklahoma City's Tom Hoch Design, recognized nationally as a specialist in club design and renovation, is leading the work at Sportsman's.
Hoch considers club space and how it directly affects revenue from food and beverage service and other operations. Wynn called him “the top gun” in club design. Hoch's work in Oklahoma includes Quail Creek Golf & Country Club in Oklahoma City, Tulsa Country Club and Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur.