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New owners bring love of the game to the Lake MacBride Golf Club

Couple takes a shot at the golf industry
Rich and Kim Currie, owners of Lake MacBride Golf Club, prepare this Friday’s special of Iowa Pork Chops. (photo by Jennifer Moore)

SOLON- Rich Currie recounts the best round of golf he’d ever played.
Almost.
After going out for a friendly game with a friend, Rich decided to call it quits at the 16th hole. The game had become too drawn out, too time consuming for him to continue; so with two holes left, the two threw in the towel. Afterward, Rich’s friend tallied up their scores, then looked at him in astonishment.
“He said ‘Dude, if you had finished, you probably would have broke 80!’” Rich said. “I could not believe it. I couldn’t believe I didn’t stay.”
Now it might be awhile until he’s able to give a repeat performance.
Rich and his wife Kim purchased the Lake MacBride Golf Club this past January and now he’s finding he has even less time to pursue the game he’s loved for so long.
“Even at the beginning of the season, we just weren’t able to get out there,” Kim said. “There was just a huge learning curve.”
That learning curve involved more than just figuring out how to maintain a fairway. While the couple was familiar with the game of golf, managing a business was a completely new experience for the two. Rich previously worked for 26 years as a senior account manager at Yellowbook, now HiBu, in Cedar Rapids, and Kim had spent the last few years taking care of their family of five. Now their duties included managing a staff of over 40 people, many of who had worked for previous owners Mark and Lynette Pattison.
Rich and Kim have tried not to change too much, and that includes the employees. They felt one of their first priorities was to simply earn the respect and trust of their staff.
“We wanted people to just get used to us and hopefully like us and what we’re doing. We just went from there,” Rich said.
The golf club also plays host to many weddings, graduation parties and charity golf events. For years, the Lake MacBride Golf Club has also put on weekly Friday night dinners. Rich and Kim have continued this tradition and have even added a variety of specials, with favorites ranging from ribs, to beef brisket, to Iowa pork chops.
Luckily, with all that goes on at the club, Rich and Kim have found plenty of support from their family, who are all involved in keeping the club running smoothly. Daughter Madison, 20, can often be found behind the bar serving golfers as they either celebrate or gripe about their scores. Sons Cameron, 17, and C.J., 13, help out with a little bit of everything, from wiping down tables to gassing up the golf carts. Even Kim’s mom, Ann, has stopped by the clubhouse to lend a hand during bigger events.
This friendly atmosphere goes far beyond the Currie family, though. The couple believes it’s the welcoming environment that makes the Lake MacBride Golf Club so popular.
“The people out here are great,” Rich said. “Even if they don’t know you, they’re very friendly toward you. We’ve got people signing up for memberships and we’ll have older members sitting at the bar telling them ‘we’re glad to have you.’”
But Rich and Kim believe it’s not just the welcoming surroundings that make the course so special. The wide array of challenging yet playable holes keeps golfers coming back as they attempt to beat their previous scores.
The couple also takes pride in the fact that they consider the course to be extremely fair. They and their groundskeeper, Jeff Wolfe, work hard to make sure there aren’t any extra bumps and divots on the greens, and that the grounds are meticulously maintained.
That’s not to say there aren’t a few holes that will give golfers a headache or two. While number three is the course’s signature hole, with its scenic views of the water and picturesque landscaping, a tree hanging over the fairway has caused more than a few moans and groans. And though the seventh hole is a daunting par five, Rich has seen more than a few golfers– including himself– get that elusive double eagle in just two strokes.
“It’s pretty exciting to watch. We just had a guy during a tournament get one the other week,” Rich said. “It’s just a fun course to play.”
The Lake MacBride Golf Club, located on 3891 Pro Rd. NE in Solon, is open seven days a week with tee times from 7 a.m. until dusk. Rich and Kim recommend calling ahead for reservations.