Forest Oaks Country Club ‘closed until further notice,’ ES2 S&L files for bankruptcy protection

PicMonkey ColfsdlageGUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Forest Oaks Country Club, the former site of the PGA’s Wyndham Championship, is closed until further notice and the company that manages the club has filed for bankruptcy protection.

“Effective April 15, 2014, Forest Oaks Country Club is closed until further notice,” a sign posted on the door reads. “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.”

ES2 Sports & Leisure sent an email to employees on Monday night:

“It is with sincere sympathy and a heavy heart that we update you all on the status of Forest Oaks. Although I still can not give details as to what lead us to this point due to pending legal matters, I need to inform you that as of Today, 4/15/14 Forest Oaks has closed.”

“All employees including department heads are no longer employed by ES2 Sport & Leisure.”

ES2 Sports & Leisure has elected to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection and will not be able to help with any questions or concerns.”

In the email, the company said all employees of ES2 Sports & Leisure have been terminated effective April 15.

“Obviously nobody is going to get paid today,” said Garrett Smith, who worked at the club’s pro shop.

Smith says the sudden closure will be about a lot more than not being able to play a few rounds.

“We’ve got guys who live paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “They’re not going to get paid today.”

ES2 Sports & Leisure only managed the club. Tadashi Hattori owns the club in a joint partnership with at least one other owner. He has been in contact with employees about what will happen to the club moving forward.

Isabella’s Grill at Forest Oaks has also been impacted by the bankruptcy.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Kathy Dudich, who has owned Isabella’s Grill at the country club for the past year.

“All the locks had been changed, re-keyed, and I couldn’t get in,” Dudich recalled after trying to enter the building.

Dudich leased the restaurant, paying a deposit then pumping her own money into thousands of dollars’ worth of renovations she just finished.

“I invested my retirement money,” Dudich said. “I didn’t go to a bank. That’s something I’ll probably never recoup.”

The company posted this message on its Facebook page:

“ES2, THE COMPANY THAT LEASES FOREST OAKS COUNTRY CLUB, AND WHO ISABELLA’S GRILL LEASES FROM HAS DECLARED BANKRUPCY AND THE DOORS HAVE BEEN PADLOCKED AND LOCKS CHANGED. WE CAN NOT EVEN GET IN THE REMOVE ANYTHING AT THIS TIME. ISABELLA’S IS LOCKED OUT JUST LIKE EVERYONE. 

PLEASE PASS THE WORD, ISABELLA’S IS NOT BANKRUPT, JUST THE COUNTRY CLUB. IT IS ALL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.”

The country club’s website is also down.

Ricky Proehl, owner of Proehlific Park, issued the following statement regarding the club closing:

“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 country club was established in 1965 and is best known for hosting the Wyndham Championship from 1977 through 2007. The event was formerly the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic and the Greater Greensboro Open.

The course at Forest Oaks was originally designed by Ellis Maples when it opened in 1962. Davis Love III was hired in 2002 to redesign the course.

No other information is available at this time.

Story is developing. We’ll have updates throughout the day.

33 comments

  • llw

    Maybe had it been affordable to more it would not be closing. There are people in the community that could not afford the fees but would have been great ciustomers.

  • T

    Sotheast Guyilford Liberal??? HA! Not hardly. But there are some around. Can’t say I didn’t see this coming when Proehl and company (father-in-law) took over. Hope they reorg and get back up and running in some fashion.

    • Richard Sessoms

      I hope so too. Because if not then this would be another big blow for community that already has nothing really going for it anymore. I feel sad to say this but it’s true.

      Also before people hate on me. My family has has lived in that area for over a 100 years and I grew up right on Liberty Rd and used to bike in an around Forest Oaks as a kid. But right now there is nothing economic wise being brought in to the area.

  • Ghengis Kehn

    wow, what an intelligent comment, especially when it was George Bush’s Republican regime that dissolved our economy, reputation and cleverly perpetrated 911 against our own people. hope you never contribute to the writing of a history book.

  • bwalker

    Since T.W did not make or win the Masters alot more of these courses will be closing down! You did know that he controls all courses through out America? Some of the courses around this area could stand to come up with a 25.00 for 18 greens fee and that with cart!!!

  • lbprice

    Limousine Liberals????? We belonged to the club, great golf course, nice people, both staff and members. Never saw a Limo there…. And ran into mostly Republicans, so you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. This club is one of the most down to earth I’ve known, which is why we joined. The fees they charged were much less than any other area club and obviously not enough to keep it open.

  • truth-hurts

    I’ve lived in Forest Oaks for 30 years. Starting to get over crowded.
    Apartments and condos everywhere.

  • Anderson

    Will Grant, I think you are an idiot. You obviously know nothing about this area and if you were from this area you might have a different opinion about the whole matter. Take a ride through the neighborhood during an election and let me know how many liberal signs you see.

  • Jackson Hole

    Wonder if this is just the beginning of the Prohelific Park day and age….Ricky has that huge park that was on the brinks of bankruptcy right before he took the WR job with the panthers, so wonder if that park is next to go under his name.

  • upsetmom

    Either way – my son’s last paycheck from FOCC bounced & today was his payday. This type of economic bust hurts. Would have been nice for the employees to have had a heads up!

    • Will Grant

      Then why isn’t your son doing something about it, “upsetmom” instead of hiding behind his mommy whining on a message board? No wonder he’s stuck working at a bankrupt golf club.

      • upset mom

        I only submitted a comment to add insight to the situation. My son is a college student & is by no means “stuck working at a bankrupt golf course”. What an arrogant person you must be to interject your opinion with each and every comment, all the while showing what an absolute pompas jerk you must be.

    • dewey

      ignore will…..nothing but a troll and he never has any insight or anything of value to add to the conversation

  • Cheap Golfer

    So…since this place is foreclosed…what would happen if a golfer, who may or may not be a member, decided to walk on?

  • Old Timer

    This is so sad, to have this happen. I’ve lived here 31 years and was proud to call Forest Oaks home. The Club isn’t to blame – it was the management group.

  • garrettsmith105

    Reblogged this on Garrett Smith: English 105-08 and commented:
    This is a huge reminder to me. Next time I am complaining about how hard an English assignment or Physiology assignment is, just remember that some people may not be able to feed their children tonight because there are crooks like this out in the world. This is my 15 seconds of fame!

  • Richard Sessoms

    @lbprice. I am born and raised around there. But I am now living in California. The last time I went back there was Christmas, so sorry I haven’t drove by there recently. But I wouldn’t doubt them putting up more stuff like that. It’s sad because this and building the condos will only bring the property values even further down. This whole area has went down hill the last 10 years.

  • michelle

    I think it is sad to see this..and in addition to the townhomes there is the awful deserted shopping center across the road from the club entrance that didnt help either. Looks like a ghetto. That in itself makes the place less desirable for a tournament.

  • DS

    How about not calling the article “Forest Oaks Country Club”, and call it by the name in which it was operating and managed… and that would be “Proehlific Club at Forest Oaks”. The country club is not the one in foreclosure!

  • Will Grant

    @”Upset mom” Which college…barber, or clown ? He’s still a loser hiding behind his mommy. Hope this helps.

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