Distressed golf courses continued to sell at a brisk pace in the first quarter of 2011. Here are summaries on five courses:
• Woodhaven County Club Homeowners Association bought the Woodhaven County Club for $3 million without a dollar of debt thanks to an assessment of $6,000 applied to the HOA membership. Nearly all of the HOA’s 486 members have paid their assessment, covering the purchase price for the Palm Desert, Calif., facility, which includes the clubhouse and tennis courts as well as 18-hole golf course. Previous owner CT Realty Corp. was $2 million in debt in May, when creditor Textron Financial Corp. put the golf course up for sale. Textron is providing 10-year loans at 7.5% interest to HOA members who cannot come up with the assessment fee on their own. The ownership change was completed on Feb. 14. Current General Manager Bob Evert likely will stay on under HOA’s ownership. Under Evert’s management the golf course’s operating revenue was $2.5 million last year. Evert works for Synergy Golf Partners LLC, which was hired by CT Realty to manage the course.
• The city council of Clear Lake, Iowa, purchased the All Vets Golf Course for $214,000 on March 7. The purchase was funded from proceeds from the city’s hotel and motel tax. The price covers the outstanding mortgage and delinquent taxes. All Vets will be operated by the Veterans Memorial Golf Club Foundation Inc., a non-profit group consisting of local residents under a two-year agreement. The foundation will pay the city $1 a month rent. Under terms of the operating agreement, the golf course will keep all revenue, with all profits being deposited into a capital improvement fund to pay for future improvements. The city expects to get its money back from the golf course within seven years. However, the city will also be required to make up for any losses from the golf course operation. All Vets is a nine-hole course which opened in 1922.
• Club members and homeowners at Fairvue Plantation purchased The Lakes Golf Course and clubhouse for $6 million in late February. Sumner Bank & Trust, Volunteer State Bank, Commerce Union Bank and American Security Bank & Trust helped The Lakes members and Fairvue residents pull off the transaction. The Gallatin, Tenn., private course reopened March 9. The Lakes Golf Course and clubhouse had been closed since November, when the previous owners fell into bankruptcy. The new owners, comprised of homeowners and golf club members of Fairvue Plantation, hired KemperSports to run the day to day operation of the golf course soon after the acquisition was completed. Chase Swanson of Northbrook, Ill.-based KemperSports stepped in as general manager. The course will remain private.
• Stan Pace acquired Ridgefields Country Club in Kingsport, Tenn. after a handshake agreement in January to purchase the Donald Ross-designed course from mortgage holder First Community Bank. The course was closed in December when the club and the bank could not agree on bankruptcy terms. First Community Bank’s appraisal last month placed the value of the property at $2.6 million. Ridgefields’ bankruptcy was dismissed when it and the bank could not come to terms.
• OnCourse Strategies, which acquired Blackhawk Golf Club in Pflugerville, Texas for $1.25 million in November, is now investing $300,000 into the property. Improvements will include re-sodding the turf, basic weed control, upgrading the irrigation system and purchasing new carts. OnCourse Strategies, run by J. Michael Ussery, bought the course from GE Capital after tapping a business relationship with American Bank’s branch in Austin, Texas, to finance a portion of the acquisition price. Blackhawk Golf Club is the eighth golf course to enter OnCourse Strategies’ portfolio. The 18-hole course was co-designed by Charles Howard and Hollis Stacey, a former U.S. Women’s Open champion.