ClubCorp isn’t letting an internal review slow it down. The public company recently announced the acquisition of Eagle’s Nest Country Club, a member-owned country club in Maryland, just north of Baltimore, and North Hills Country Club, just north of downtown Philadelphia.
Sales & Finance
Dismal River Golf Club, one of Nebraska’s build-it-and-they-will-come golf venues, has been sold again. The 36-hole club, which opened in 2006, now belongs to a group of seven Omaha businessmen, led by Joel Jacobs, a former professional football player who’s become an investment advisor.
Jacobs grew up on a ranch near Dismal River, a club that features golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Doak. The club is in Mullen, Neb.
Less than four months after an investor called on ClubCorp to consider selling itself, the public company may be doing just that, according to sources and a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The Dallas-based company said it has formed a committee to review and evaluate alternatives.
“The committee is focusing on opportunities to further unlock the value inherent in the company,” ClubCorp said in filing. “The committee is evaluating opportunities with a focus on maximizing value for all shareholders.”
Florida city pays $5 million to keep course open
The city of Oviedo, Fla., has agreed to pay $5 million for Twin Rivers Golf Club to ensure that the struggling 310-acre property remains open.
Twin Rivers features an 18-hole, Joe Lee-designed course and was among a handful of Orlando-area venues owned by The Golf Group. Two years ago, The Golf Group, headed by Bob Dello Russo, closed Rock Springs Ridge Golf Club in nearby Apopka when it was in similar financial straits. The city will seek a private management firm to operate Twin Rivers.
Potowomut Golf Club selected Troon to manage its 18-hole facility in Warwick, Rhode Island. Potowomut is a historic private facility that features a Walter Johnson-designed golf course. Johnson was a 17-year associate of Donald Ross.
Concert Golf Partners added another private club to its portfolio, with the recapitalization of White Manor Country Club, a member-owned private club in the Philadelphia suburb of Malvern. The club's Board of Directors and its members approved a deal at the end of 2016, which will pay off all the club's debt. It is also expected to lower annual member dues by 10 to 15 percent, and inject more than $1 million into immediate capital projects at the club.
Walters Golf sold Royal Links Golf Club in Las Vegas to Scottsdale Golf Group on Nov. 3, part of the company’s effort to exit golf completely.
Bill Walters, owner of Walters Golf, is a professional sports gambler has owned more than ten golf courses during the past 25 years. But he sold Desert Pines Golf Course to Arcis Equity Partners in 2014, and is left with onely one course — Bali Hai Golf Club on the Las Vegas Strip.
Watermark Properties, which owns four courses in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will add a fifth course in January with the acquisition of The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe.
Thornapple Pointe opened in 1997 and has operated as a public course. Watermark’s other facilities — Sunnybrook Country Club, Watermark Country Club, StoneWater Country Club, and Thousand Oaks Country Club — are all private.
The Chinese conglomerate that owns Hainan Airlines will acquire 10 golf courses for $137.5 million, as part of its effort to boost its portfolio overseas and secure a gateway into the North American golf tourism market.
The seller, Oki Golf, is based in Bellevue, Wash., and all of the properties are in the Seattle region. The sale includes The Golf Club at Redmond Ridge, The Golf Club at Newcastle, Washington National Golf Club, Trophy Lake Golf & Casting, Harbour Pointe Golf Club, The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie, The Plateau Club, and Indian Summer Golf & Country Club.
Eric Affeldt, CEO of ClubCorp, can’t seem to get a break. In the spring, a short-seller claimed the company’ stock was overvalued by more than a quarter. Now, a minority shareholder has sent public letter claiming that the company is undervalued, and that it should consider selling non-core lower-returning clubs or a conversion into a REIT.
Affeldt, meanwhile, has said the company's story and financials are not well understood, primarily because it is the only public golf entity. It went public in 2013.