After more than half a century of family ownership, the Riverview Golf Course in Antigo is about to change hands. The nine-hole course that meanders along the Eau Claire River is purchased by Adam Paulus, who already owns another executive-length nine-hole course called Club X to C Golf Course and Restaurant in Gleason.
Paulus will operate the Antigo Course as the Riverview Golf Course from X to C.
The ongoing sale – closing is expected next week – has been a long time coming. Joe Kretz, who spent 43 years running the course his father helped build in 1963, said he had been trying to find a buyer “for seven or eight years” without success. Paulus said he’s also been monitoring the course for some time, but it wasn’t until COVID-19 kickstarted the golf economy that the numbers worked.
“Well golf has been busier so the market is up,” Paulus said. “The dollars are up and that’s definitely making a difference in cash flow.”
Kretz also credited the increase in play over the past two pandemic seasons with putting Riverview in more financially attractive shape.
Paulus also owns a golf course equipment business and manages golf cart rentals for a number of courses in northern Wisconsin. So he said he already has the machinery to run the second course, which is about a 17-minute drive from his current, executive restaurant. Classes. Having both courses will also provide opportunities for joint memberships, he said.
His plans for Riverview, which had been pretty much a one-man operation for several years, include new seeding for the fairways, expanded greens, upgrades to the irrigation system and additional upgrades as and as time permits.
Kretz said he would work with the new owners for a while as they take control, but would otherwise benefit from his family’s long connection to the game of golf. He has a son who played professionally for a while and two nephews who are also in the golf business.
“We have a small legacy there (but) it’s time, I guess. It will feel good to get out of debt after 43 years.