American Golf sells two more courses

American Golf sold its 13th and 14th golf courses in the last year, selling The Crossing Golf Club in Franklin, Tenn. to Golf Franklin Bridge LLC, and The Trophy Club of Apalachee, in Dacula, Ga. to Golf Apalachee LLC.

Steven Ekovich, First Vice President, National Managing Director and Director of the National Golf Division of the Leisure Investment Properties Group, brokered both sales for American Golf. 

Drive Shack, the parent company of American Golf, is divesting its owned courses in an effort to pay down debt so it can build Drive Shack entertainment centers. 

The company finalized the sale of 11 courses in late December for $82.5 million. Former Topgolf CEO Ken May, who was named CEO and president of Drive Shack in November, said the company will use revenue from the sale along with cash on hand to pay $102 million in outstanding debt. 

American Golf’s first sale was Persimmon Country Club in Gresham, Ore. It still has more than 12 courses on the market. 

“We feel very privileged to have the opportunity to exclusively represent AGC & Drive Shack in facilitating the sale of a substantial portion of their portfolio” said Chris Karamitsos, Senior Investment Advisor and Co-founder of the LIPG of Marcus & Millichap. “These assets represent some of the best turn-key, income-producing, properties we’ve taken to market. It’s no wonder that each has garnered so much attention from the investment community”.

Golf Franklin Bridge LLC was formed by PGA golf professional, Brooks West, formerly of Yamaha Golf Cars. The Crossing, formerly Forest Crossing Golf Club, has long since been a staple of daily-fee golf in the Nashville market. 

“As soon as I saw that the course was on the market, I knew that this was my best opportunity to own my own golf course,” said West, a Nashville native. “It’s a fun course to play and in a great location.” 

Golf Apalachee LLC was formed for the purpose of the acquisition which took place on December 18th. The Buyer is a Class-A PGA member and longtime golf-industry executive who brings years operational experience to the venture. Designed by former PGA Tour player & broadcaster, Steve Melnyk, the course hosts over 45,000 rounds annually and has been serving Atlanta-area golfers since 1994. 

Ekovich said the two sales represents the growing trend of first-time golf course buyers entering the market. 

“Over the course of the last three years we have sold courses to a number of PGA club-pros as well as investors from other asset classes chasing higher yields in the golf airspace,” he said.

Ekovich and Karamitsos have three additional American Golf courses under contract and expect those to close in the first quarter of this year. 

The previous courses sold include eight in California: 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. 

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