New Great Trail Golf Course owners to expand while honoring the past

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Submitted Photo Great Trail Golf Course co-owners (left to right) Amanda Conrad, Andy Conrad, Nathan Shriver, Nehemiah Shriver and Steve Ogden became business partners to purchase and save the golf course from being auctioned and potentially shut down. Their goal is to carry on the legacy of former owners Steve and Cathy Fry and build upon the foundation set by them.

By Thomas Clapper

CCM Reporter

For the five long-time friends and now new co-owners of The Great Trail Golf Course, preserving the legacy and building upon it is the top priority. 

Husband and wife team Andy and Amanda Conrad, friend Steve Ogden and brothers Nathan and Nehemiah Shriver all have crossed paths at the Minerva golf club throughout the years, formerly owned by Steve and Cathy Fry for 27 years.

Andy and Amanda Conrad, who also co-created and run the Sandy Springs Brewing Company in Minerva since 2017, met and ultimately held their wedding party at the golf course. 

“We had no intention of wanting another business aside from the brewery but over the years we stayed in contact with Steve and Cathy Fry,” said Amanda Conrad who serves as the general manager of the golf course. “Five years ago we heard it was up for sale and joked about buying it. Andy’s best friend Steve Ogden looked at how golf courses were declining at the time and that’s as far as it went. Then we heard recently it would be auctioned off and felt we had to take action and find some partners. We thought if it was auctioned off it would not be a golf course anymore and if the golf course closed, it would be detrimental to the community.”

“The Great Trail Golf course has been a local institution for decades and was facing potential closure,” said co-owner Steve Ogden. “It felt like a piece of our town’s history vanishing. This wasn’t just about business, it was a chance to give back to the community.”

“Steve Ogden and I were best friends and we worked at the golf course together,” said Andy Conrad. 

“As kids working at the course, Andy and I joked about buying it someday,” said Ogden. “Twenty-five years later, the dream came true. It’s a privilege to join incredible partners in making this a reality.”

The group has plans to restructure and renovate the golf course and grounds. They are adding a new brewery upstairs, a restaurant and digital golf where the swimming pool used to be. The club house will be upstairs as well. The goal is to be open year around including the winter. The course also has newly leased golf carts.

Other plans include opening a spa, adding a disk golf course, and host more free stuff for the community and hold events. 

“We want to get the youth more involved in the sport,” said Amanda Conrad. We have around 9 leagues and are planning to start a woman’s league. There is something for everybody for all ages.

One upcoming event will be the first “Rocking on the Range” on June 23 which will have a music band on the driving range. There will be a long drive competition as well. 

The golf course will continue to book weddings and lodgings for the wedding party. Rooms can also be booked for a getaway for any occasion. 

“We kept all the same employees and wanted to build upon what Steve and Cathy Fry created,” said Andy Conrad. “We don’t necessarily want to change it but add on to it. Steve and Cathy Fry by themselves managed the golf course, weddings, and several other events by themselves for years. That is a testament how great they were.”

The Conrad couple noted a lot of the same people have been coming for over 30 years and some they still know and recognize from when they used to work here. The golf course has 55 employees including Assistant General Manager Kate Wollam.

“I love when we get to go on vacations and we want to make it so when people come to Minerva they have that great experience like we have elsewhere,” said Andy Conrad. “We have a great community with lots of great restaurants and businesses.”

“We’re not just buying a golf course,” said Ogden. “We are preserving a legacy and building memories for the next generation of Minerva golfers.”

For more information see The Great Trail Golf Course on Facebook, Instagram and visit The Great Trail Golf Course is located at 10154 Great Trail Dr., Minerva and can be reached at 330-868-6770.

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