It was just a year ago when members of the Hanson family purchased the Hudson Golf Club. Over their first season of ownership they learned and watched how the club, building and grounds functioned. When the club closed for the season they had a vision for the future in place, based on their observations.
"We decided to make the changes that would help the club be a success," said Jon Hanson, president and general manager.
Demolition began in November and the new reality was unveiled in April. The basement was gutted completely. The golf cart storage, which took up nearly half of the square footage, was moved to a separate building near the driving range.
"We looked at the building and felt that space was being wasted," said Hanson. "We had our ideas and my father Chris designed the layout. We also solicited input from other family members and employees. Sometimes changes happened as the project moved along."
The lower level is brand new. Both the men's and women's locker rooms are now located where the golf carts were stored. With oak lockers and well-appointed common areas, they have an elegance that is found in clubs of a much larger size.
Also on the lower level is an expanded pro-shop which has nearly tripled in space. This allows for stocking more golf-related items as well as a complete line of licensed sports wear from area teams including the Badgers, Packers and teams from across the border as well.
The jewel in the crown of the lower level is the new bar/restaurant area. It seats 75, 30 cluster around the new granite bar. It also includes an adjacent patio and a Full Swing Golf Indoor Simulator. "It is the first one installed in this country to have a pass through screen," said Hanson. "You can play 67 different courses on it."
The upstairs is now ready to accommodate up to 350 guests. The main floor is completely open from North to South. The bar was removed giving that area a whole new feeling. It can still be divided if needed but the added space makes it a banquet facility capable of handling almost any size event.
"It gives the golfers a special area," said Hanson. "We don't have the mingling between golfers and banquet guests."
The final piece that adds to the lively essence of the remodel is the outdoor patio, bar and grill.
"Last season I watched this area (the putting green in front of the club house)," said Hanson. "It was never used. I thought there was a much better use for this space."
Indeed there was. The putting green is gone and in its place is a patio that seats up to 80 under colorful umbrellas. Adjacent to the patio is pergola over a granite bar and outdoor grill.
While the 2011 season is just underway, the Hanson family is positive their vision is becoming a reality. With over 90 percent of the current members rejoining and dozens of former members coming back, the future is bright.
River Valley Catering is handling all of the food service in the restaurant and banquet facility at both Hudson and River Falls, which is also owned by the Hanson family. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, serving a light menu.
"Now that our year of transition is over we are excited about the improvements," said Hanson. "It is an important meeting place for the community." All of the work was done by local contractors.