Heritage gets new financial backer, plans to buy courses again

Heritage Golf Group has a new financial partner and plans to buy more courses. Tower Three Partners, a private equity firm, invested into the management company in early April.

“I’ve been looking for the last three years for a new partner since I thought the industry was in a good place and we finally found Tower Three,” Husband said. “They’ve been great because they came in and purchased our loans and we basically don’t have any debt and can start some acquisitions.”

GTCR Golder Rauner LLC had previously been the primary financial backer for Heritage. It’s investment had helped Husband’s company get up and running in 1999.

“GTCR Golder Rauner LLC have been tremendous partners in letting us bring in a new equity partner for the next stage of the company,” Husband said.

Heritage had as many as 26 courses that it either owned or managed as soon as 2011. When the recession hit, Husband placed new acquisitions on hold, and took on third-party management contracts that were short-term in nature — most were bank-owned properties.

But it no longer manages courses that it does not own. It operates seven facilities with 10.5 18-hole equivalent golf courses — all high-end properties.

“We want to do it differently this time, it’s a new phase of the company,” Husband said. “We’re going to try to stay on the higher side of the market. We want to find properties in the top five percent of those markets. Having properties in the right market is key and even markets that aren’t that good, there are micro-markets that can do very well.”

In light of the recapitalization, Heritage plans to use its stronger financial position to upgrade its courses and improve member services.

“Yes, we are going to buy properties and be disciplined about buying them but we’re not trying to compete for every property,” Husband said. “We’re going to be much more selective and try to find the properties that fit our niche resort and private.”

Tower Three Partners Founder Bill Forrest looks forward to their new relationship with the San Diego based golf group.

"Bob Husband and the entire Heritage team are relentless in their pursuit of the highest service standards and, working together, we will drive Heritage to even greater heights," Forrest said in a press release. "Tower Three stands ready to support Heritage's mission of enhancing the member experience and developing its portfolio of best-in-class golf properties across the United States."

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