BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: The Creek, Kinkade family revive golf scene in Blanket

DERRICK STUCKLY BROWNWOOD BULLETIN derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com
The Kinkade family began working on The Creek in February to prepare for its recent re-opening. Pictured is the ninth green.

BLANKET — The tanks are full, the grass is green and plush and golf has returned to Blanket.

Dormant for more than a year and a half, The Creek — located just west of Blanket on U.S. Highway 67/377 — re-opened Friday. While the pro shop is still in the process of being remodeled, new carts have arrived and the links are open for business.

Charles and Janis Kinkade and family are running the golf course after initially purchasing a portion of the property when the owners of then-titled Creek Bend closed. The course also previously operated under the name Shady Creek.

“When we bought our property it was really nice to sit on the porch and watch people play golf,” Janis Kinkade said. “We were really disappointed when it closed down. It was so pretty from our view. At that time, I never thought about us buying it, it just worked out that way.”

“Originally, the previous owner asked if we wanted to buy a few acres to add to the acreage we already had,” said Charles Kinkade, whose property begins behind the green on the first hole. “We originally bought five holes and used it as our own personal practice range. Then it looked like it could be a good opportunity for us to buy the rest and diversify our income a little bit, and provide something for the community.”

Golf is without question a family affair for the Kinkades, whose children — 15-year-old Luke, 14-year-old Marki and 7-year-old Karli — all compete on the summer youth circuit, and are helping out with maintaining the course.

“My husband is really passionate about golf and when we got married 18 years ago, he taught me how to play,” Janis Kinkade said. “Our kids all play during the summer on the West Texas Junior Champions Tour. When we bought the first few acres we just thought they’d have a place to practice. The more we worked on it and started thinking about it, the more we wanted everyone to be able to come play.”

Prior to closing, Creek Bend had expanded to 18 holes, but the Kinkades will return The Creek to its original nine-hole format.

“When they went to 18 holes they had some water issues, so we’re going to keep it to nine,” Charles Kinkade said. “And those nine holes of golf are pretty premium right now.”

Along with the remodeled pro shop — which the Kinkades, who own Kinkade Drywall/Seal-Tite Insulation, are working on themselves — The Creek will also feature a new driving range, which is currently under construction as well.

Charles Kinkade has helped teach the game of golf to Blanket youngsters, and wants the course to be a place where kids — as well as adults — can hone their skills.

“My husband loves to teach kids to play golf,” Janis Kinkade said. “He works with the kids that go to school at Blanket and hopes they have state-winning golf teams. He loves it, he loves teaching kids and he’s really patient.”

For those interested in a membership at The Creek, there is a $100 initiation fee and monthly golf for $75. Those who hit the links only occasionally, nine holes with cart is $21 on weekdays and $18 after 5 p.m. The cost for 18 holes, with cart, is $29 on weekdays and $34 on weekends and holidays.

The Kinkades weren’t certain when all the renovations they are currently undertaking will be complete, but added that with managing a golf course, there’s always work in progress.