Proposed Changes for Briarcrest Country Club

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Change is on the way for golfers in the Brazos Valley. While the finalization of the deal draws near, golfers and locals alike await to hear exactly how the Briarcrest Country Club will alter as new ownership changes hands next month.

News 3 spoke with members of Briarcrest Friday about their thoughts on the existing course, as well as how they thought things would change when Bryan home developer Wallace Phillips officially takes over.

"The course has a good lay out, it needs some work," said member Del Hocker.

Hocker said he likes to golf at Briarcrest, but hopes the new ownership means new improvements to the green.

"Get the fairways cut down, get some of the rough built back up again and fix some of the bare spots on the course and again, on the rough."

Phillips, who will be the new owner come October, has already put a lot of thought into the exact changes he wants to make.

"The golf course needs some tender loving care and some attention that the club hasn't been able to afford to do," said Phillips. Phillips said other changes to the course include more water features, such as ponds and fountains.

Separating itself from other local courses, Phillips wants to make Briarcrest completely public. Although the option of a membership will still exist, he said he wants the community to take advantage of the 26,000 square foot Clubhouse, swimming pool and plans to bring more user friendly products into the Pro shop. He also plans to make improvements to all those amenities.

Hocker said he's all for a good public course, but some golfers expressed their concerns about the green being open to more people.
"It's all relative; more people means slower rounds," said member Chris Uphoff. Other members we spoke with wondered if more people meant more wear and tear on the green.

According to Phillips, it wasn't an issue he saw as happening anytime soon. "At present, we're only running about half capacity."

Regardless of speculation, many were optimistic about the potential of Briarcrest's future.

"I don't really know much about the gentleman or really the gentleman who owned it before," said Uphoff, "but just like anything with new ownership, you hope to see changes for the better."

Hocker agreed. "I'm hoping he's going to put money into it; I know he's a developer, so hopefully he's going to develop it and make it worthwhile," said Hocker.

The finalization of the deal is set to take place October 1, 2013.