American Golf sells 11 courses

Drive Shack, the parent company of American Golf Corp., took a giant step forward in its plan to sell off the courses in its portfolio to fund expansion of its golf entertainment facilities, which are similar to Topgolf.  

The company finalized the sale of 11 of the 25 courses that it owns for $82.5 million in late December. The identities of the buyers were not immediately disclosed, however, American Golf will continue to lease or manage eight of the courses. 

Former Topgolf CEO Ken May, who was named CEO and president of Drive Shack last month, said the company will use revenue from the sale along with cash on hand to pay $102 million in outstanding debt. 

American Golf CEO Jim Hinckley earlier this year said Drive Shack’s strategy moving forward was to sell off the courses remaining in its portfolio to pay for construction of Drive Shack golf entertainment facilities. Where possible, American Golf will continue to operate the properties under leases or management contracts. 

The first Drive Shack standalone facility opened last year in Orlando. Three others are under construction across the country, with another 15 planned over the next two years. 

Hinckley said that the company also would seek to create a hybrid facility by integrating Drive Shack technology into existing golf courses and ranges. 

The first such facility is planned at Randall’s Island Park in New York City. Drive Shack is improving the existing public driving range, to be managed by American Golf, and in 2020 will break ground on a 96-bay, three-story entertainment complex.  

The California courses sold are Canyon Oaks Country Club in Chico, El Camino Country Club in Oceanside, Monterey and Palm Valley country clubs in Palm Desert, Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton, Seascape Golf Club in Aptos, Sunset Hills Country Club in Thousand Oaks and Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley. 

The other clubs sold were Oregon Golf Club in West Lynn, Ore.; Plantation Country Club in Garden City, Idaho; and The Trophy Club of Apalachee in Dacula, Ga. 

American Golf will continue to manage all the courses except Seascape, Plantation and The Trophy Club. 

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