Golf Community Reviews

Text Size
Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Are Chinese investors closing in on more Myrtle Beach golf courses?

Written by 
Rate this article
(0 votes)

        We don't rely on rumors, but some are too strong to ignore. This morning on the golf course at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, my playing partner stated decisively that Chinese investors had made a successful bid for the multiple golf courses owned by National Golf Management (NGM), including my own club, Pawleys Plantation. The source she mentioned seemed reliable enough that I sent a couple of text messages from the golf cart to people intimate with the Myrtle Beach area golf scene. A long-time and well-connected member of one of the NGM clubs indicated he understood that due diligence was under way between NGM management and the Chinese investors, and that an announcement of a sale could be just days away. Others were more circumspect about what they knew, but no one denied a sale was imminent. As one Pawleys Plantation employee replied, perhaps a bit too quickly, when I asked if he had been informed of the purchase, "I don't know, but why wouldn't they [the Chinese] buy the courses? They have plenty of money."
        Indeed they do, and they have spent it aggressively in recent months to acquire 13 Myrtle Beach area golf courses for more than $40 million, a mix of well respected layouts and some not considered especially top quality. One of the clubs they purchased, TPC of Myrtle Beach, was previously managed by NGM. Other courses among those purchased by the Chinese include International World Tour, with 18 holes that mimic some of the most recognizable in the world of golf; and three courses in the Classic Group of clubs – Indian Wells, Founders Club and Burning Ridge.
        Should the rumors be true and the Chinese investors purchase the 19 courses currently owned or managed by NGM, the Chinese portfolio will reach a total of 32 clubs, about one-third of all current clubs between Shallotte, NC, and Georgetown, SC; and they will boast some of the Grand Strand's most iconic courses, including Pawleys Plantation, Grande Dunes Resort, Kings North, Long Bay and the "Grandaddy" of them all, Pine Lakes International, opened in 1927 and the site of the founding of Sports Illustrated magazine.
        At the Pawleys Plantation Golf Club's annual meeting in February, NGM President Robert Maraugas was asked by a club member if there was any truth to the rumors about NGM selling its courses, including Pawleys Plantation, to a Chinese company. Maraugas indicated there were no active negotiations at the time, but added the oft-repeated catchall that everything is for sale at the right price.
        If the rumors are true, and we believe they are, that price has been met. Given what the Chinese have paid previously for the 13 golf courses in the area, and if the negotiations include all of the 19 affiliated NGM courses, we are betting the over/under for all will be $120 million.
RiverClubChinesestoryThe River Club in Pawleys Island is one of the clubs owned or managed by National Golf Management that could be involved in a sale to Chinese investors, potentially bringing the number of courses in the Myrtle Beach area owned by the Chinese to more than 30.

Read 5489 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 17:27
Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn
Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.


Now on Sale

Back Nine BookCover

  • The only book about golf communities in the last 10 years.
  • 156-page step-by-step guide to finding your dream golf home.
  • Info on nearly 100 golf communities the author has visited.
  • Paperback version costs less than a sleeve of Pro VIs.

Here is what the experts are saying:

“The book is chocked full of information…applicable to anyone looking for a move to the Southeast regardless of whether they are looking for a golf community or not.” — John LaFoy, golf architect (Linville Ridge CC, CC of Charleston, The Neuse GC)

“Larry has done a tremendous amount of work and anyone — like me — who is looking to search for a golf home now or in a few years needs this book.” — Brad Chambers, golf blogger, ShootingYourAge.com

“Wow!  What a thorough piece of work…a must for anyone moving South. This book will help many people.” — Brett Miller, owner and founder of MMA, Inc, a golf industry consultancy

Buy It Now at Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com.