A day on the green at Spring Valley Golf Course

HERSEY – Don Semeyn’s love of golf led him to purchase Spring Valley Golf Course from it’s original owners 32 years ago. Today he fosters that same love in others, offering daily open play, league play and special golf outings at the 18-hole course in Hersey.

In 1980, when Semeyn bought the business, the course included nine holes. He wanted to expand the facility to offer more to local golfers.

“I designed the back nine holes by myself,” Semeyn said. “It took me several years to build.”

Don and his wife, Carol, manage the golf course on a day-to-day basis. Don is in charge of the turf and Carol oversees the clubhouse.

From organizations such as Special Olympics, WISE and Habitat for Humanity, to local entities such as Reed City and Evart chambers of commerce, the Semeyns estimate they host around 50 golf outings each summer to raise money for the groups.

The pair credit the success of the business to faithful employees such as Joyce Treadway, who has served as Clubhouse ,manager for 30 years and Ed Peffer who has worked on the grounds crew for 20 years.

“The business depends on the help and we’ve been fortunate to have good help for years,” Carol said.

With a strong belief in supporting youth to support the future, the Semeyns let the Reed City High School golf team use their facility for practice. The course also employs young high school- and college-aged staff who perform cart and ground maintenance.

“Golf is such a lifelong sport and it’s really becoming an affordable family sport,” Carol said.

Spring Valley Golf Course recently has seen an increase in family and youth participation who come out to experience the course’s motto: “Good Times, Good Friends, Good Golf.”

Being voted Osceola County’s favorite golf course for more years than they can count, the Semeyn’s pride themselves on their friendly staff, hands-on leadership and middle-of-the-road course prices.

This month, the Herald Review shines its business spotlight on Spring Valley Golf Course, located at 18396 U.S. 10 in Hersey.

HERALD REVIEW: Give a brief explanation of what your business does or specializes in.

DON SEMEYN: Spring Valley is both a public and private membership course. Along with daily open play, league play is offered six days a week. We offer a full service bar with a sandwich menu. A driving range, putting green and chipping area are available for practice. Instruction is available by appointment. "Good Times, Good Friends, Good Golf" is our longstanding motto and our staff members try to project that motto each and every day of business. Spring Valley has been voted People's Choice for "Favorite Golf Course" in Osceola County for many years running.

How does your business give to the community?

SEMEYN: Spring Valley offers substantially reduced rates to nonprofit organizations choosing Spring Valley to host fundraising events. Reasonably priced outing packages include golf, cart, lunch at turn, dinner after and a prize donation. We try to accommodate requests from local charities and fundraising groups by donating golf games or merchandise.

What is an interesting trend you've seen with your company or customers?

SEMEYN: Interest in golf is starting at an earlier age in children. We are seeing younger, experienced players on the course every season.

What is the best and worst thing about being in the business that you're in?

SEMEYN: The worst thing is the golf business is very dependent on the weather. An inaccurate weather forecast, given by the local media, can easily spoil an otherwise good days’ business.

The best thing is the people. Golf brings out the best in people, both members and visitors, that we deal with on a daily basis.

Any last comments?

SEMEYN: Golf is a challenging sport but can be a life-long sport. If you are not a golfer, but have aspirations to be, go to your local golf course and try it. You're never too old.