Mulligan’s new face: South Jordan native takes helm of Mulligan’sFeb 23, 2022 06:42PM ● By Collin Leonard
By Collin Leonard | [email protected]
Almost seven years ago, the city of South Jordan paid off the bond on Mulligan’s Golf & Games at 692 South Jordan Parkway. Since that time, Mulligan’s received a major face lift. A grand reopening was held in 2019 to celebrate the remodeled clubhouse and The Caddie Shack, a small grill inside. The new manager, South Jordan native Jacob Druce, is looking forward to a successful season aided by an influx of resources to keep the business operating smoothly.
While it is fairly common for a city to own a golf course, this community gem sets South Jordan apart from the rest. The residents of the city were responsible for the push to acquire the business and surrounding open space, and have been the key to its popularity. On any given afternoon, one can find the two-story driving range, golf courses, batting cages and mini-golf course in use, as well as the popular riverfront trail to the east of the clubhouse.
Under the care of the original owners, many features in the center were built with residential grade quality. Since the facility is approaching its 30th year in business, management believes it is time to replace much of the outdated systems in the coming months. The list of improvements is numerous, but most significantly include replacing all 450 lights on the mini golf course, landscaping equipment and a new pump house. The current pump and landscaping equipment were likely bought, in previously-used condition, in the '90s.
Spencer Kyle, South Jordan’s director of administrative services, said “because [Mulligan’s] is city owned, we’re making decisions for the community’s best interest in the long term. We’re making investments for future generations.”
During the pandemic, the city noticed a significant increase in traffic at Mulligan's. With the inability to travel, the residents of South Jordan looked home for outdoor recreational activities. Between 220,000 and 300,000 people came through the center last year. As a city owned entity, Mulligan’s can use its profits to reinvest in the property and equipment, and there is wide support for maintaining its open spaces for those that use the facilities and the trails bordering the property.
Kyle is looking forward to working with a manager that has both a business and recreation background. Jacob Druce, who stood out from over 140 applicants, feels “excited to be back in the community and contributing,” as he deals with the pressure of managing the courses he learned to golf on as a child. He was a successful baseball player at Bingham High School before playing college ball at Colorado Mesa University. He received a B.S in Sport and Fitness Administration and MBA there before working in the private sector.
He too feels the difference in running a government owned business. “Things are more methodical, everything is being done for the best interest of the community,” he said.
Many in the department called last season a perfect storm of COVID complications and equipment failures, so the renovations are much needed going forward. In the coming months, Druce is focused on “maintaining the open spaces and providing desirable amenities to the community.”