For many years, the fate of Oak Meadow Country Club was unknown. Suffering from a major fire in 1997, and later attempting to climb out of financial distress, it wasn’t until David and Karen Blankenberger purchased the membership-owned club that it experienced revitalization.
Oak Meadow, located at 11505 Browning Road on Evansville’s North Side, once belonged to D. Mead Johnson as an estate and horse farm, but was purchased by Dick Heath of Robinson, Illinois, and candy bar fame, and converted into a country club in the 1970s. During the first 12 years of the 2000s, the financial struggles led to a couple of shut downs of the club, says Oak Meadow General Manager Adam Gann.
“I think it was really close to being discarded,” says Gann, who has worked at Oak Meadow for nearly a year. “I know there were several conversations about selling the land to developers and developing it into a subdivision … They went through a couple of shut downs until 2013 when David and Karen Blankenberger bought the club. We are running on year three and year four, and trying to rebuild the original mystique of the club.”
With the purchase of Oak Meadow came many needed improvements and updates. The club purchased a new fleet of golf carts, irrigated the course and rewired the sprinkler system, added and upgraded the course maintenance equipment, remodeled the entire clubhouse upstairs, replaced all the carpets and paint, and updated the kitchen with new equipment.
“On the grounds as far as the equipment we use to maintain the golf course, we basically started from scratch on that,” says Gann, who attended North High School and played golf at the University of Evansville. “We replaced, added, and upgraded a ton of equipment, and have put a focus and commitment to the future growth of the club. With this focus, we have now decided to attack small, yet impactful, details around Oak Meadow.”
Gann credits the club’s loyal membership with inspiring the Blankenbergers to purchase Oak Meadow.
Oak Meadow is available for weddings and events, has a swimming pool, tennis courts, two executive chefs, and a competitive golf course. The club is in the process of constructing a pro shop lounge area for players to relax before and after tee times.
“We try to provide a setting so that all members are comfortable and feel welcome,” says Gann, who credits his department heads for their relentless effort. “Our goal is to make members feel at home when they are here and still provide the services they want. If it is a formal dinner, or if it is a barbecue out on the lawn, that’s what they get.”
For more information about Oak Meadow Country Club, call 812-867-1900 or visit oakmeadowcc.com.
Don’t miss these additional
area country clubs:
Evansville Country Club
Evansville Country Club began in 1900 as a fishing and dining club with many renovations and additions throughout the years. Located at 3810 Stringtown Road, the member-owned private club has nearly 700 members who enjoy dining, golfing, swimming, and playing tennis. “The key is to make everything an experience, take it one step further than other people,” says Gary Shetler, general manager of the Evansville Country Club. “When you make the experience something members can share with other people, they remember you.”
Rolling Hills Country Club
In 1955, a group of businessmen found a slice of paradise in Newburgh, Indiana, when they decided to create Rolling Hills Country Club amid the beautiful landscape. The club is a popular destination for weddings and banquets and features a golf course, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool. “Other clubs focus on their course, but we focus on the family-oriented feel,” says Allison Bunys, club house manager at Rolling Hills Country Club. “We’re welcoming. It’s not a stiff or intimidating atmosphere.”