BCGC's legacy will remain on the Hi-Line
Joplin couple Craig and Heidi Miller are the new owners of Beaver Creek Golf Course
Last updated 6/18/2021 at 11:38am
For as long as just about any local golfer can remember, one thing consistent with every summer is Beaver Creel Golf Course. It's been here for decades, it's weathered hellacious winters, floods, hail, wind and heat. It's been through a lot over the years, and yet, it still stands.
Over the years, BCGC has also changed owners a few times as well, and that's the case as the great old course heads into the busy summer months of 2021.
Recently, longtime Hi-Line residents Craig and Heidi Miller purchased the course from veteran owner Rob Gomke. The couple from Joplin said they were looking for local business opportunities in the last year, and the idea of purchasing BCGC from Gomke started to take shape last winter.
"I've known Robbie and Jared a long time," Miller said. "My wife and I were looking for something new, and Robby started to talking to us about the course. We didn't want to go out of state. We wanted it to stay local, and eventually, one thing led to another.
"I really enjoy golf," he continued. "And my wife is very into the other sides of business. So it is a good business for both of us to get into. We get to stay in Joplin, and we get to do something new and exciting."
Owning a golf course is an exciting business opportunity for any golfer. So it would also stand to reason that Miller said the course will be the initial focus, but, ultimately, he has visions for the future as well.
"Robbie and Jared have done such a great job with the course," Miller said. "Before 2014, it's fair to say, the course wasn't what it once was. So they've just done an awesome job of really bringing it back and I just want to piggy-back off what they've already done.
"So, right now, my goal for this first season is to focus on small improvements out on the course as the summer goes on," he continued. "We're going to reinvest in this course right away and keep BCGC moving forward as a golf course."
Investing in the course itself is certainly a priority. In recent years, BCGC has seen membership continue to grow, as well as league and tournaments. So one of Miller's many visions in the short term, and long term, is keeping his golfers happy.
"Robbie did such a great job of creating a fun, family atmosphere with the course," Miller said. "So we want to keep that going. But also, our vision is to make the place a multi-purpose building. We finished the patio outdoors and we're going to be looking at doing many outdoor events like live music and more. Eventually, we'll be looking at the restaurant upstairs, too. Hopefully having possibly a lunch and dinner menu more regularly."
Vine 19 is another part of the course started by Gomke that, Miller said, he looks to continue. But he said, he's also looking to expand the golf simulator area of the Vine 19 portion of the iconic BCGC clubhouse.
"I love the Vine Bar," Miller said. "But in regards to the golf simulator, what I would ultimately like to do is move it into a part of the building that is being unused right now. Ultimately, maybe get a second simulator, and build a sports bar type of area where people can come and play simulator rounds, maybe have a full winter league, things like that. There's so much potential with this building, so that's a vision we have for the future."
While Miller looks to the future and all the things he and his wife plan to do to enhance BCGC, the present is here as well, and golf season is in full swing, so to speak. So in that regards, the new owners are excited be in the golf course business. While they look forward to creating their vision for Beaver Creek, they also have a message for their long-time patrons and golfers from Havre, the Hi-Line and beyond.
"We want people to know nothing is going to change," Miller said. "Beaver Creek is a great golf course. It's a great place and we want to continue what Robbie created. But we also have long-term dreams, this will be a 20-30 years for us. We want to create our legacy here, and we're very excited about that."