Solutions to critical issues a key focus of Golf Inc. event

Two Critical Issues Forums in which speakers will offer solutions to the most significant challenges facing golf operators today will be among the key events at the Fall Golf Inc. Conference held Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Camelback Inn & Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. The first Critical Issues Forum, on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 4:15 p.m., will tackle the subject of rising costs. Panel members will include Jeff Silverstein, president of I.R.I. Golf Group, John Crowder, director of business development for ValleyCrest Golf Course Maintenance, and Don Rea, president of Your Source Golf.

Trump buys private club in N.J. for $28 million

While Donald Trump is still waiting word on whether his controversial golf resort in Scotland will be approved, he's busy expanding his golf holdings in the U.S.

Trump in August finalized a deal to purchase the financially troubled Shadow Isle Golf Club in Colts Neck, N.Y., for a reported $28 million.

The 450-acre property includes a golf course designed by Jerry Pate, a par-3 course and a 58,000-square-foot clubhouse.

Votaw to head push for golf in Olympics

PGA Tour executive Ty Votaw has been named to lead the effort by the International Golf Federation (IGF) to have golf included as an Olympic sport in the 2016 Games.

Votaw will serve as executive director of a special IGF committee made up of several industry organizations pushing for the Olympic designation. They include The R&A, U.S. Golf Association, PGA Tour, PGA of America, LPGA, PGA This Jacobsen-Hardy course is the centerpiece of Hammock Bay Golf Club, one of the projects impacted by WCI Communities' bankruptcy filing. European Tour and Augusta National Golf Club.

Rounds remain down for first half '08

Rounds at U.S. golf courses were down 2.1 percent during the first half of 2008, according to the June National Rounds Played Report.

The report, the first issued under a new joint agreement by Golf Datatech, the National Golf Foundation, the PGA of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association, showed that rounds for the month of June fell 2.0 percent from the same month in 2007.

Casper, OB add courses to management portfolios

Billy Casper Golf will manage the restored North Course at City Park in New Orleans and OB Sports has signed to manage the new Stone Canyon Golf Club in Independence, Mo.

Billy Casper Golf will manage all facets of operation for the North Course, which is the first of City Park's three 18-hole courses to reopen after all three were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The North Course has undergone a $1.3 million restoration, which includes numerous changes and upgrades.

Golf veterans acquire S&S management operation

Two former Bonita Bay Group executives have partnered to purchase the 10-course management portfolio of Florida-based S&S Golf Management.

Bill Bower and Simon Coulls in July finalized a deal to acquire S&S from longtime owners David Smith and Helen Sarver for an estimated $2 million.

The sale included management contracts for 10 courses in Florida, as well as about 80 homeowners associations spread across the state.

WCI files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Florida-based homebuilder WCI Communities filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in August, citing declines in both pricing and sales of new homes and condominiums and dramatic increases in cancellations of purchase offers.

The company, which has projects in approximately 40 communities, primarily in Florida, experienced $184.3 million in losses during the first half of 2008, and claimed aggregate indebtedness of $766.2 million.

First-ever PGA Village outside U.S. planned

The first PGA Village to be developed outside the borders of the United States will be built on Cat Island in the Bahamas.

The PGA Village at The Bahamas will be a partnership between the PGA of America, local investor Cat Island Partners Ltd. and Southworth Development and its management arm, Southworth Golf.

The first of two planned 18-hole courses at PGA Village will be designed by architect Rees Jones. Southworth will develop the Cat Island Golf & Beach Resort and Southworth Golf will manage the golf and resort operations.

It's a flat golf world

As the state with the largest population, California might seem like a prime target for golf developers. But builders know that any proposed course there faces a long, complicated process.

"There are other states that aren't easy for development, but California is the toughest," said golf course architect Cal Olson. "There are so many activists who get involved in the approval process and push to make it more difficult [to build a course]."


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