published Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Golf course owner seeks investors

By Corrina Sisk-Casson

Correspondent

DUNLAP, Tenn. -- Some know it as Mt. Airy while others call it Hidden Falls Golf Course, but the pictureseque 18-hole course in Sequatchie Valley currently doesn't have a name.

Owner Bill Willis hopes some new investors will help improve the course and ensure its future.

Mr. Willis, who is from Florida, bought the course in 2005, teaming up with a group that said it would keep the grounds if he would be the main investor.

"When I first came to Dunlap, I was very impressed," Mr. Willis said. "They took me out to the golf course, it was beautiful. It just seemed too good to be true. I couldn't believe a place like this existed."

Over time, the greens became neglected. A few months ago, Mr. Willis met with Dunlap and Sequatchie County officials to plan improvements to the greens.

Mr. Willis, along with others who are interested in the property, have held a series of community meetings about the course, which still is open.

Golf Dunlap is a group of local residents who have worked with Mr. Willis to improve the course. The group plans to buy a 50 percent stake in the course. Members have already recruited lawyer Keith Davis for legal help and Professional Golf Association member Roger Bott for assistance with operations.

Mr. Bott talked about the greens, the equipment and the staff needed to run a successful course..

"As far as I'm concerned, this is a very viable operation. You have one of the most beautiful in land golf courses I've ever seen," he said. "The course is our No. 1 concern right now. I believe that by the middle to end of June, the greens will be in pretty good shape."

Anyone can invest in the course. A 1 percent ownership stake costs $10,000 each. The fitness facility adjacent to the land is owned and operated by another individual.

A March 1 deadline has been set for interested investors to take advantage of the $10,000 price; after that date, the prices goes up, officials said.

Corrina Sisk-Casson is based in Dunlap. Contact her at corrinacassson1@aol.com.

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