Golfweek’s Best: Dormie Network is one club with many nationwide opportunities

Before the coronavirus injected uncertainty into every aspect of our lives, the previous quarter-century had seen an unprecedented expansion of options for those who love to travel to play golf. 

Private clubs emerged in remote locales – e.g. Mullen, Nebraska, and Deer Lodge, Montana – that once would have been unthinkable. Mike Keiser’s transcontinental empire brought pure golf ideals to the destination resort. Meanwhile, a new breed of golf societies, led by the Outpost Club, married group travel with the camaraderie and friendly competition of club life. 

Finding a niche in any of these highly competitive scenes isn’t easy, but since its foundation in 2016, the Dormie Network quickly has carved out territory all its own. In defining that niche, it’s perhaps most efficient to use the company’s own description: “(A) national network of clubs combining the experience of destination golf with the premier hospitality of private membership.” 

The Dormie Network is one of many projects by the entrepreneurial Peed family of Lincoln, Nebraska. Tom and Rhonda Peed built the foundation of the family’s wealth from an array of trade publications directed toward the agriculture and construction industries, among many others. Their entry into the golf industry is being led by their youngest son, 28-year-old Zach, a former collegiate golfer at Nebraska Wesleyan.

The six-course network did not begin as such but rather with the purchase of a single club, ArborLinks, a 2002 Arnold Palmer design 45 minutes south of Omaha. The company gradually expanded from that base, acquiring a carefully curated selection of courses by name-brand designers: Lester George’s Ballyhack; Tom Fazio’s Briggs Ranch and Victoria National; and Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw’s Hidden Creek and Dormie Club – the company’s namesake. With the exception of the Dormie Club itself, each property features high-end accommodations, and lodging at that Pinehurst-area gem will be operational in 2021. 

Along the way, Zach Peed began to see economies of scale and network potential in this portfolio of acquisitions. All came with existing slates of legacy members, which were folded into the national network. Clubs that grant playing rights to multiple courses are nothing new, but most previous such operations were regional in scope and the properties involved tended to vary in quality. 

Not so with the Dormie Network. 

“Whether they’re coming from across the country or just up the street, we want members to feel like they’re coming to their home club,” said David Plaster, Dormie Network’s chief marketing officer. “It’s been great to see people explore these courses that are now a part of their membership. Each club has a different feel based on regionality – the menu is different at Briggs Ranch in Texas than it is at Hidden Creek in New Jersey – but the

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By: Thomas Dunne
Title: Golfweek’s Best: Dormie Network is one club with many nationwide opportunities
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Published Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2020 11:00:45 +0000

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