GREENSBORO, N.C. – Until further notice, Forest Oaks Country Club has closed.
The club closed overnight. Two signs and a chain on the door greeted members Tuesday.
The signs read, "Effective April 15th, 2014 (sic) Forest Oaks Country Club is closed until further notice. Further information will be available in the coming days via the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Please direct all questions to the appointed trustee."
It has a lot of people upset and looking for answers, including Kathy Dudich. She owns Isabella's Grill in the same building. She rents the space from the clubhouse and showed up this morning to the locks changed.
This couldn't have come at a worse time. Kathy says she hired 4 people last week to get ready for the busy summer. "We're getting ready to ramp up," said Dudich. "The beverage cart is going out, the pool is opening, I ran the beverage carts for the golfers, I ran the concession stand at the pool, college kids were coming home, they all think they have a job for the summer.
"Never thinking it was a risk to use our own money, we felt comfortable doing that because we thought we were going to get it back, and we wanted to be a part of trying to save what Forest Oaks used to be in the hay day," added Dudich.
According to some club members, it was far from what it used to be. One man told WFMY News 2 he came to golf recently and was told they didn't have any tees and couldn't afford to buy more. He came back the day before it closed and was told they couldn't afford to buy sand for the course.
The current owner of the country club is Tadashi Hattori. He runs a Japanese company called Nisshin Corporation. He was leasing the country club to a ES 2 Sports and Leisure. That company filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy.
ES 2 told WFMY News 2 they are in an ongoing legal matter with the landlord and could not comment further.
A Proehlific Park spokesperson told WFMY News 2 it licensed its name to the club, Proehlific Club at Forest Oaks, but is not involved in managing operations.
Ricky Proehl, owner of Proehlific Park, issued the following statement in a news release:
"Proehlific Park is shocked and saddened to learn about the bankruptcy filing by ES2 Sports & Leisure, LLC. Proehlific Park has never been involved in the operation, ownership or management of Forest Oaks Country Club.
"Proehlific Park allowed the use of name 'Proehlific' to assist another local business with a long and storied history in Greensboro.
"Besides this standard name licensing agreement, Proehlific Park has had no other involvement with the operation, ownership or management with Forest Oaks Country Club.
"Proehlific Park continues to thrive as a Greensboro-based business and we look forward to many more years of serving the community."
The Wyndham Championship, formerly known as the Greater Greensboro Open and the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, was originally played at Forest Oaks - starting in 1977 - before moving to Sedgefield Country Club.
Forest Oaks' history goes back to 1964. At that time, it was called Oakland Country Club. Ellis Maples designed the course on Dan Pegram's land. John Hughes Jr. and Alleghany Properties bought the land and opened Forest Oaks Country Club in 1965. They built the clubhouse in 1967.