The Litz Family
Mike Litzelfelner (Litz), General Manager and one of the owners of Bent Creek Golf Course, likes to tell the story of his dad coming in from walks on the family property with sketches of golf holes in his hand. It was nearly 30 years later that the dream of creating a golf course became a reality.
Bent Creek Golf Course opened its doors in September of 1990 and has been solely owned and operated by the Litz family ever since. Jack Litzelfelner, Sr., patriarch of the Litz family, started acquiring property that is now the golf course in the 1960s. Litz Brothers Realty started selling lots in 1988 and shortly after that the plans of a golf course started to take shape.
It was by a chance encounter at Quail Creek that Mike was able to strike up a conversation with Hale Irwin and get him involved in the golf course design. One week after the initial conversation, Irwin was walking the property with Mike and his brother Rob. Gary Kern, the architect of Bent Creek, was a member of the Irwin team and had major input into the routing plan.
Construction began March 24, 1989 and Rob found himself wearing the hat of golf course developer. Building the course took many, many hours and the help of several local contractors as well as the Neal Sellenriek Company. It was a very labor intensive process for Rob and he explains that working with his family made the task easier, “With all the many decisions that had to be made on the spot, I could have never done it if I had had to go to a board of directors for approval on every decision. Dad and Mike had the faith in me and could make a decision in 10 minutes.”
Over the years, operating the golf course has been a family affair. With everyone from Jack’s wife to his grandkids to his brother all filling a role in the business, there was never a shortage of Litz’s around throughout the course’s 22 years. Today, at the age of 84, Jack is still the first one to open the doors each morning. Mike and Rob remain owners of the course and oversee its operation. Part of the allure of Bent Creek is the family atmosphere the Litz’s have created that extends to the employees and also to the customers. Usually, around lunchtime you can find Jack talking up a new customer and telling stories about his days playing minor league baseball or educating them on the history and happenings of the Jackson community.
Bent Creek Golf Course & Properties continues to grow – there are many exciting new programs and offerings for our customers in the 2013 season. Also, the family recently started selling lots on the latest development of the Bent Creek subdivision, Phase VI – Watson Ridge.