United States: Els-designed property opens in Hawaii

Hoakalei Country Club, the first private golf club on the island of Oahu in 30 years, officially opened its first nine holes for play Jan. 12.
 
Designed by Ernie Els, the planned 7,400-yard course is part of Hoakalei Resort in Ewa Beach, and was built by Haseko, one of Hawaii’s largest developers.
 
About 50 members already have joined, Haseko officials said. 
 
The club will include a residential element that will have 900 single-family and townhomes at final buildout. 
 

Vietnam: IMG to design course near Hanoi

The construction arm of the Taiwan-based Foxconn Group plans to develop an 18-hole golf course as part of its planned Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park east of Hanoi.
 
Singapore-based IMG Golf Course Services will design the course, scheduled to open in 2011.
 
Foxconn’s KCT Engineering will supervise the development, with the course integrated within a residential development.
 

Spain: New Desert Springs course in works

Plans are in place for a construction of a second 18-hole golf course and a 166-bedroom lakeside hotel at the 750-acre Desert Springs resort development near the Mediterranean town of Cuevas del Almanzora.
 
Developer Almanzora Bay Group will build the new additions to the development at an approximate cost of €40 million.
 
Former European professional Peter McEvoy, who designed the development’s first 18-hole golf course, will design the new one as well. Construction of this latest phase is scheduled to start late this year.

Lithuania: Starwood plans €300 million in resort hotel improvements

The owners of the Le Meridien Vilnius Hotel plan to invest approximately €300 million in the property over the next three to five years.
 
Situated in Lithuania’s capital city of Vilnius, the hotel is a part of the Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts chain, which is controlled by New York-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
 

South Africa: Player to design course with wildlife sanctuary

Gary Player and his brother, Dr. Ian Player, are teaming up to design a new 18-hole golf course at the Waterberg Estate in Limpopo.
 
The new Waterberg Biosphere Course is planned as part of a larger golf community that will also include a variety of residential components. A wildlife and predatory sanctuary where wild animals can be seen at close range is also planned as part of the development.
 

Auction of foreclosed N.C. community delayed

The foreclosure sale of the luxury Hasentree golf community near Raleigh, N.C., has been postponed from its original December date until Feb. 3.
 
The 934-acre community, with its Tom Fazio-designed golf course and new home prices north of $1 million, is scheduled to be sold at auction by lender SunTrust Bank.
 
SunTrust reportedly is owed an estimated $49 million by community developer Creedmoor Partners, headed by local developers Carlton Midyette and Henry MacNair.
 

Sale to follow bankruptcy filing at S.C. property

Wedgefield Plantation Country Club in Georgetown, S.C., is for sale, following a filing for bankruptcy by owner David Privette in mid-December.
 
The daily fee course was designed and built by Porter Gibson in 1974. Ownership group Wedgefield Plantation Golf & Country Club LLC listed assets of $6.1 million and debts of $5.12 million in the bankruptcy filing. 
 

U.S. rounds slump for 3rd straight month

Rounds at U.S. golf courses fell sharply in November, dropping 6.7 percent from a year ago.
 
The third consecutive month of decline totaled by the November National Golf Rounds Played report dropped the year-to-date total to 1.6 percent below the 2007 level, assuring that the overall numbers for all of 2008 will show a decline. Traditionally, only a small percentage of the total rounds are compiled in December.   
 

British clubs welcome £12.8 million player development grant

England Golf has received a grant of £12.8 million from Sport England to foster the growth of golf among juniors, families and other new player and member segments.
 
The grant is being hailed by many prominent club captains and industry representatives as a boon to many English clubs that have been hurt by bad golf weather seasons and the global economic downturn.
 

Alabama course sold for $3 million

Magnolia Meadows, an 18-hole course in Columbiana, Ala., was purchased recently by Double Eagle Development LLC for a reported $3 million.

The seller was M&F Bank, which had repossesed the property following the death of founder Jeff Falkner in 2007.

The new ownership group is made up of course superintendent Wade Nielson and clubhouse manager Fred Payne.

Wayne Rasco, course general manager for the past six years and the man who encouraged the pair to purchase the course and bring it back to stability, will remain on board.

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