Textron Financial sells Mt. Woodson, its last golf course

Textron Financial, which entered the golf market in 1991 and at one time was the most prominent mortgage lender in the industry, has officially ended the part of its business that handles mortgage loans with the sale of its last course, Mt. Woodson Golf Club in Ramona, Calif.

Textron Financial, which is owned by the parent company that also owns E-Z Go and Jacobsen, made the decision to exit the golf mortgage financing business in late 2008. It still finances equipment, including E-Z-GO golf cars, Jacobsen turf care products, as well as the company’s Bell helicopter division.

At the time it announced it would exit golf mortgage lending, it indicated it would sell or liquidate approximately $7.9 billion of its $11.4 billion loan portfolio. However, it had repossessed several courses. In spring of 2010, for example, it owned 22 golf courses.

Textron said at the time that it would be patient and drive value to maximize returns.

“Textron does not have to sell their courses at a distressed price,” broker Hilda Allen said in 2010. “A lot of their courses will be repositioned and shored up to sell, but they aren’t mandated to get rid of them.”

Mt. Woodson Golf Club was the first course that it foreclosed on and the last one sold, according to Daryl Driscoll who bought the course for $1.7 million in February.

Driscoll owns Alliance Golf, a golf construction and water feature company located in Las Vegas. He said it took longer for Textron to sell the course because there were legal conflicts. The golf course shared property, including a parking lot, with a 12,000 square foot home that was built in 1921 and known as the Mt. Woodson Castle. The castle had also been foreclosed upon, but by a different lender.

During the past eight years, three management companies oversaw operations for the golf course — JC Resorts, Touchstone Golf and Billy Casper Golf Management.

Driscoll has hired Touchstone to manage the course and he is retaining the existing general manager.

Driscoll, who worked as a general manager for American Golf in the 1990s, is adding a modular clubhouse with dining and a hitting cage. The course does not have room for a driving range. 

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