It may not be a household name yet, but there is a growing golf management company at the doorstep of Utah Valley. Vanguard Golf Management, located at Thanksgiving Point Golf Club in Lehi, touts all the characteristics of success.
Vanguard GM was started by Mark Whetzel in 2002. His initial goal was to take the burden of managing a golf course off of the Ashtons, the family that owns the property at Thanksgiving Point. With 20 + years experience in the golf business, he knew he could run a successful golf club and 11 years later the idea that started with one golf club has turned into a stable of four clubs that Vanguard now manages.
“This is really a dream come true,” Mark said, smiling in his office at Thanksgiving Point, “I always wanted to manage and use my ideas in running a golf club. Now we are managing four courses, three of which we have a long-term lease with and one for the city of Hurricane, UT. We have had some successful events at our Thanksgiving Point Golf Club, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to our future projects and golf course management opportunities. Our team here at Vanguard Golf Management includes Walter Willey the CFO and Brandon Howard the COO, (both) have many years experience in golf and financial business and we enjoy passing that knowledge on to our clients and the patrons of our clubs.”
Through Vanguard’s tutelage with their first course, Thanksgiving Point has become a hugely successful golf club enjoyed by the public. The course is also host to Johnny Miller’s Champions Challenge Golf Tournament, won in its inaugural year by locals Billy Casper and son Bob Casper, and many other top Utah events, including Huntsman Cancer Golf Classic, the Utah men’s and women’s state amateur championships and the PGA’s Western Club Pro Championship.
The courses currently managed by Vanguard Golf Management are;
Thanksgiving Point Golf Club
The Ranches Golf Club
Eagle Mountain, UT
Coral Canyon Golf Club
Sky Mountain Golf Club
In this economy, it’s great to see a homegrown company making an impact. Vanguard Golf Management is making an impact not just in golf, but in the amenities that Utah golfers enjoy. As their website explains so well, “Golfers at Vanguard’s golf courses are treated as ‘members for a day’, with access to many of the amenities and services found at private clubs.”