Story by Kelly Newsom | Photos by Al Eby & Kelly Newsom
One nice thing about living in a small town is the comfort of knowing you’re welcome no matter where you go. Wild Wings Golf Club is no exception. Everyone said hello as I walked from my car to the pro shop to meet Randy Thomas, General Manager and Head Golf Pro. Even with it’s small town loveliness it was clear this is a big time operation. Wild Wings is busy! A popular spot for local golfers, many coming as far as Fairfield to play on a weekly basis.
Some ‘good to know’ stats about Wild Wings:
*It’s a public course!
*9-hole course, par 36
*3157 yd from the blue
*2955 from the White
*2632 from the Gold
*Voted Best in Yolo County five of the last six years
*The Sacramento Bee’s Golf: Course report in 2013 said of Wild Wings, “Greens outstanding; Bermuda fairways beginning to “turn” but still rolling out”.
What’s your role with Wild Wings?
Randy: I’ve been here for six years and I’m the General Manager and Head Golf Pro. I work for KemperSports Management out of Chicago. We manage over 100 golf courses nationwide. We managed the most recent U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. I’m very happy to be working with them, they support the staff and have a great resource called the Center of Excellence – like a training center. Kelly: Does Kemper own the golf course? Randy: No, actually Yolo County owns the golf course. They contracted with Kemper to manage the course. So we oversee the maintenance and protect the County’s interests. To become profitable is the main goal, something we strive for and it’s coming around.
Kelly: How so? Randy: We’re getting our fees in line with the demand within the county. That’s been successful. More and more golfers are finding us and we are open to the public. That not always an obvious thing to someone who is driving by and sees the large gates off Hwy 16. It’s automatically assumed the golf course is private and only available to the homeowners. The homeowners support us through taxes but the golf course is open to the public. We are open seven days a week and we invite anyone to come take a look at us.
Tell me about the Wild Wings course?
Randy: We were just voted the best golf course in Yolo County through the Daily Democrat for five of the last six years. We’ve also been voted, by the Sacramento Bee readers, for having the Best Greens in the valley. Which is what we’re know for. We are very proud of our greens. Everyone who plays here always comment on the greens after they’ve finished their round.
What other services does Wild Wings provide?
Randy: I am PGA certified golf professional so we have lessons and instruction. We have a restaurant that we utilize for banquets, tournaments, and private parties. We have a men’s twilight league that begins in April and runs until September. It’s a 24 week league. It gives our men’s club an opportunity to come out on Thursday nights and play. Throughout the league we offer food and this year we’ve saved for a final league ending dinner. We are also a NCGA (Northern California Golf Association) golf club. That means members can have a handicap and can post their scores. Those who are NCGA members through Wild Wings are eligible to play in monthly events we have. We also host the Woodland City Golf Championship each May. Men’s Club Championship in September, if you’re a NCGA member you are invited to play in that tournament. We host anywhere from 15-30 outside, private group, tournaments a year.
Kelly: How many people does your banquet room hold? Randy: We can have up to 70 seated with round tables and up to 100 in a cafeteria style seating. Kelly: The banquet room is called The Nest, right? Randy: Yes, it’s available for parties of all kinds. We just hosted a bridal shower and a graduation party this last June. It’s available throughout the year.
Can you tell me about a favorite memory since you’ve been at Wild Wings?
Randy: I’m most proud of the renewal of our management contract with Yolo County. To be able to continue our work here is important.
What do you want Woodland to know?
Randy: I want Woodland to know we are a public course. Come out and see us.
Wild Wings Golf Club
18540 Wildwing Dr, Woodland, CA 95695