By TRAVIS M. SMITH
Special to The Flash Today
STEPHENVILLE (January 29, 2015) — In a surprise announcement inside Lookout Bar and Grill at Legends Country Club Thursday evening, a teary-eyed John Traweek informed members the club’s ownership will trade hands on Monday.
Jack Graham, 60, of Freeport, Texas, has recently finalized a deal to purchase the golf course, clubhouse and all facilities, ending almost three decades of ownership by the Traweek family.
“Three weeks ago we were approached by Jack asking if we were interested,” a teary-eyed Traweek said. “It’s been one of those things that God has moved forward, and this is what’s going to happen. Five years down the road, everyone is going to look back and think this was the best thing to ever happen for the club.”
Graham and his soon-to-be general manager, Brandon Sommerfeld, approached Traweek about purchasing the club. The sale is something Traweek has been pondering for a while.
“We’ve owned the golf course for 29 years and 8 months. It has reached the point that I knew it was the right time,” Traweek said. “It’s a money game to improve a golf course. It takes investment in the front side to grow the membership. I wanted to make a lot of investments in the course, and I think Jack is going to be the guy to make those investments.”
Graham spent 16 years working for M&M Mars then opened The Boxcar, a barbecue restaurant, in Hamilton. That’s where he met Sommerfield, a Hamilton native who has played numerous events at Legends, including high school district and regional tournaments.
Sommerfeld has served as a caddy on multiple courses in Las Vegas, taught golf professionally at The Bandit in New Braunfels, and has most recently worked at Perry Country Club in Hamilton.
Graham said he has no plans to make major changes without taking time to assess issues and consider input from members.
“First rattle out of the box we will not make any quick changes here. There are a lot of good things going on here and we want to capitalize on those,” said Graham. “The course is by no means a poorly-run course, but we feel that we can bring some extra life to it.”
Sommerfield feels issues on the back nine will be addressed in due time.
“I grew up in Hamilton. In high school we played district and regionals at Legends so I am very familiar with the golf course,” Sommerfeld commented. “I would be playing great on the front nine and the back would be a disaster. When you look at Legends as a whole and you talk to people about Legends, the first thing that comes up is the back nine. Our goal is to make some changes back there not only with the greens, but with the drainage on the course, as well, and add a little character to the back nine.”
As for Traweek, 50, he says it is the people – members and others – that make it difficult to walk away from Legends.
“It’s a family. This place is one big extended family,” Traweek said. “That’s the one thing I’m going to miss the most.”