Warrior Acquisitions, operators of 15 courses, files Chapter 11 protection

Warrior Custom Golf, which runs a custom-golf fitting business and owns 15 golf courses, filed for bankruptcy protection in early March. The once fast-growing company has struggled with a money-losing golf course operation and a lien against one of its courses.

The company said Chapter 11 protection will allow it to continue operating its golf courses and golf club business while it works with creditors to pay off debts, it announced in a press release. Bloomberg reported that the company was facing a $1.3 million payment from a Florida lawsuit. The court held that Warrior had mislead an elderly Florida man who invested more than $1 million into the golf course part of the business. Warrior had sought investors for its golf course division when it called potential club customers.  

In this case, Warrior solicited additional investment money 23 times, even after the man suffered a stroke that impaired his cognitive abilities, Bloomberg reported.

Warrior later converted his investment into promissory notes worth less than $425,000 in 2017.

The court placed a judgment lien against Warrior’s course in Florida —  Royal St. Augustine Golf Club in St. Augustine. To avoid the closure of that course, Warrior Golf chose to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Warrior Custom Golf, an umbrella organization of other entities, listed assets between $1 million and $10 million and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million. Bloomberg reported that the golf course operations, run under the Warrior Acquisitions subsidiary, posted a loss of $680,000 on a gross income of roughly $13 million last year.

In addition to Warrior Acquisitions, nine other subsidiaries are also listed, including Westwind Manor Resort Association – which is located in Texas, where the bankruptcy was filed.

Warrior Golf was founded in 1998 as a custom golf club manufacturer, and began to acquire golf courses in 2009 with the acquisitions of The Club at Runaway Bay in Lake Bridgeport, Texas and Marion Oaks Country Club and Huntington Golf Club, both located in Ocala, Fla. 

Founder Brendan Flaherty assembled a handful of investors to acquire his first six properties in just two years. Flaherty said the company’s target consumers are value-driven, and thus Warrior Golf’s first courses fit that profile.

But while the company started with smaller, fixer-upper courses, its subsequent success and hiring of seasoned staff positioned it to expand into luxury markets.

“Since we started, we’ve learned a lot about running golf courses in an efficient manner, which is something we maybe didn’t know as much about before,” said Walter Bolen, director of investments at Warrior Golf, in 2014. “Our own skills have improved, our personnel has improved, and we intend to target bigger and higher-end properties now.”

The company operates 15 courses in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Colorado and California, including Cimarron Golf Resort in Cathedral City near Palm Springs.

Comments

Warrior knows nothing about running golf courses. They bought our course in 2014 and have systematically run it into the ground. Last year, after they fired the then GM, they brought in a friend of Brendan Flaherty's to oversee operations, and things only got worse. The new guy had previously worked in the grocery business and knew nothing about golf. Upon his arrival he fired all of the long term (and higher paid) employees, cut back staffing significantly...e.g., pro shop now closes every day at 2:00 p.m. He alienated everyone he came into contact with, and was finally removed from his position last November. I also have to laugh at the idea that Warrior sells custom golf clubs. What a joke! All of the clubs for sale in our pro shop have "uniflex" shafts...all the same flex. I guess if you need stiff shafts (or senior, or ladies') you have to do a special order and pay more. Warrior is run by a bunch of clueless morons, as evidenced by their recent Chapter 11 move. In the golof industry, Brendan Flaherty is a laughingstock...and with good reason.

I've known Brendan personally for 40 years. He and met on the world fooball pro tour and were  both world champions. I have actually worked for Warrior Custom Golf over 10 years.  First off he is a man of integrity and the greatest marketing genius I have ever worked with. ( I've worked with the likes of Bill Rickett, Dynamo Valley pool table guru, Nolan Bushnell of Atari and several other hugely successful men in the coin operated games industry.  Warrior has a very strong business model in the custom golf clubs industry and I expect them to come out of this challenge as Brendan always has - on top and a ongoing leader in anything he does. 

I've known Brendan personally for 40 years. He and I met on the world fooball pro tour and were both world champions. I have actually worked for Warrior Custom Golf over 10 years. First off, he is a man of integrity and the greatest marketing genius I have ever worked with. ( I've worked with the likes of Bill Rickett, Dynamo Valley pool table guru, Nolan Bushnell of Atari and several other hugely successful men in the coin operated games industry. Warrior has a very strong business model in the custom golf clubs industry and I expect them to come out of this challenge as Brendan always has - on top and a ongoing leader in anything he does.

I’ve been to Warrior events and course on several occasions. The events were well run and fun with courses and facilities well maintained. Incidentally, there was always a charitable cause being supported. In my view, Warrior is a bit anti-golf establishment bringing a fun element often missing in the golf world and inviting critics from that circle. Count me as one supporter that is hoping for a Warrior recovery for all stakeholders.

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