play, or resolve situations that were overly challenging,” he said.
“You can’t take down every tree, and you certainly want to be very cautious about removing a 100-year-old oak tree. You can’t put them back,” he said.
Harrington said that the renovations have done much to overcome some of the public’s initial reactions to the course being too challenging or target oriented. “Some of that reputation came from those first few years before we made changes and switched the nines,” he said.
Aside from traditional tee times and membership playing opportunities, Autumn Ridge also offers many other golf services.
Corporate outings and fundraiser tournaments are welcomed at Autumn Ridge. No matter the size of the group, golfers are encouraged to contact the staff to work out arrangements for their events.
“We also host a lot of our own in-house events which are open to the public,” Harrington said. “These are just great fun events, scrambles which we do at least once a month.” The scrambles take on themed identities, like the Hawaiian Luau, the Fiesta Scramble or Western Scramble, with staff dressing to fit the occasion.
Prizes are even offered for the best dressed and theme-matched attire!
In October, Autumn Ridge gears up its annual Turkey Shoots, which are four-person scrambles.
“The Turkey Shoots have turned into something that has a really large following,” he added. “We run three of them and they all have at least 120 players.”
Growing new players
Harrington pointed to Autumn Ridge’s concerted effort to grow the playing opportunities for various groups.
The course runs a handful of golf cams for kids each season, with 15-40 participants. “We want the young people to know that it’s okay to come out to the course to have fun. We teach the ethics of the game and respect for the course, but we also have fun things like lunch, movies or dodge ball on the range,” he said.
Wednesday nights have offered the opportunity to kick off a “Ladies Learn to Golf” program. Players get a half our lesson and nine holes of golf in a non-structured league.
In addition to a full-service pro shop, the golf course also provides great practice facilities.
Harrington and PGA Professional Justin Goosen head up the staff.
Lessons are offered by appointment for individuals and groups. Family lessons have become popular at Autumn Ridge.
“If someone has something golf-related that they are looking for, we will consider it. We don’t just have one mold for how we do things,” Harrington said.
The pro shop offers clubs and fittings featuring the common golf names— Srixon/Cleveland, Nike, Cobra and others. Harrington, who has served as a committee chairperson for several of the Kohler championships, has also scheduled PGA-connected demos when the timing has allowed for them.
Demo days are planned for the spring and summer. Golfers can sign up for email notices on the Autumn Ridge website—www.autumnridge.com
A lot more than golf
The experience at Autumn Ridge expands beyond golf.
Food and beverage service is available every day of the golf season at the Legends Pub and Grill.
“We are open every day during the season for lunch at 10 a. m. to 9 p. m. And, the pub isn’t just for golfers, it has become a great local hangout,” he said.
Fridays are fish fry days. Autumn Ridge welcomes a great core crowd and more each Friday for its fish specials.
The Legends Pub and Grill menu features home made soups, salads, pastas and foods to satisfy all taste buds.
The upstairs banquet facility is open to hosting gatherings of all kinds. Autumn Ridge hosts between 15-20 weddings during the season, and features an outdoor wedding chapel on the course grounds, complete with waterfalls, LED lighting and great settings for picture taking.
With its full service kitchen for event services, Autumn Ridge has served up to 200 people for a wedding.
Special events are also part of the agenda at Autumn Ridge.
Coming up on Easter Sunday, the golf course will offer its special Easter Bunch, offering great food and that famous Autumn Ridge hospitality.
Featuring a full salad bar, the menu also includes ham, tips, chicken, and breakfast items including made-to-order omelets.
Easter brunch is served from 10 a. m. to 3 p. m. Adults are $13.95 and children from 6-10 pay $5.95.
Call 920-758-333 for reservations. During the year, other brunch events
are offered on Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving.
Patriotic holidays are also big at Autumn Ridge. Veterans and military members play golf for free on Memorial Day and July 4th.
A fireworks show is always on tab for Independence Day.
This season, as the course celebrates its 20th anniversary.