Best-kept Secret in OUR COMMUNITY
Since Lloyd and Carie White took over the helm at Hidden Trails Golf and Country Club two years ago, the club has gotten a much-needed face lift, the grounds are looking the best they’ve looked in years (just ask the members), and the business’ future is brighter than ever.
Supporters of the club who once fought to save it from foreclosure years ago are now seeing it in a new light: repainted, redecorated and, it’s safe to say, revitalized. The couple is ensuring longtime members—and new—the club isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it will only continue to get better.
Located at 6501 S. Country Club Drive in Oklahoma City, the 18-hole course has seen a few name changes throughout the years, having gone from Hillcrest to Walnut Creek to Willow Creek and finally to Hidden Trails. Of all the names, Hidden Trails holds the most meaning for the secluded stretch of land located within a quaint neighborhood in south Oklahoma City.
“We started off with getting a new logo, getting a new brand and just putting a new face on things,” Carie said. “We loved the name Hidden Trails.That was really Lloyd’s idea. One of the suggestions from the board had been to take down the fences circling the course. They said people didn’t realize how beautiful it was back here. And Lloyd spoke up and said, ‘No, that’s a part of the character of the place. It’s hidden. It’s the best kept secret in south Oklahoma City.’”
The Whites had been members at the club since the late ’80s but were new to the golf and country club business when they took over in 2015. They couldn’t have asked for a better start to their venture than all of their key business players falling right into place. The couple lined up a dream team in their seasoned groundskeeper Gene O’Bryant, Jill-of-all-trades general manager Judy Rollins, pro-golfer turned finance administrator Chase Lindsey, and creative golf pro Wade Walker, who’s devoted to giving every club member and guest a great experience.
And that powerful lineup, they said, couldn’t be attributed to just luck.
“I don’t vote for luck; I’m a person of faith,” Lloyd said. “I believe God’s hand was in this. We were supposed to do this. Down the road, I don’t know what all He’s going to accomplish, but the way things fell together, it was a little more than I think regular luck would bring about.”
You can often find the couple brunching on Sundays inside the club’s grand ballroom that now features new flooring and an updated look. The ballroom is filled with dozens of dining options whipped up in-house, such as mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, mac ‘n’ cheese, crab salad and pasta salads.
“One thing we always have had and always will have is fried chicken every Sunday brunch,” Lloyd added. “There are some people who believe Sunday’s not complete unless they come have their fried chicken.”
The buffet-style setup even features an entire table of desserts, such as Italian creme cake, carrot cake and cherry pie, just to name a few.
In addition to the weekly brunch, members also can enjoy a Friday night steak dinner and special events that pop up throughout the year. For instance, the club orchestrated a Brazilian-inspired Valentine’s Day dinner this year. That got some high remarks from longtime club member and former Oklahoma City Ward 5 councilman Jerry Foshee.
“I’ve been a member here for 40 years, and that was the best thing I’ve seen them do,” Foshee said.
Despite all the changes at Hidden Trails, one thing remains the same: Many people in in our community and beyond depend on the club, and have for years, to serve as a gathering place for their family and friends.
“I can walk in the country club and see people I’ve known for 40 or 50 years—that’s what’s unique about this club,” Foshee said.
The Whites said they hope the continuous improvements encourage the existing members to stick around and see what’s to come—and welcome the next generation of young families to the community at Hidden Trails.
Learn more at hiddentrailsokc.com.