Heritage adds first management contract for member-owned club

Heritage Golf will manage the Long Point Golf Club in Amelia Island, Fla., a course that was formerly part of the The Amelia Island Plantation. The Plantation was sold to Omni Hotels and Resorts at auction for $67 million on Aug. 23.

The 1,350-acre resort had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2009. The Long Point Golf Club was a key component to the resort, but was not part of the sale. A group of club members presented the trustee of the Bankruptcy Court with a financial plan to purchase the club, and the plan was approved.

This is Heritage’s first member-owned club, and its sixth facility in Florida. Heritage now operates 21.5 18-hole equivalent golf courses, and owns all but two of the facilities. But Bob Husband, CEO of Heritage, said the company expects to sign two or more additional management contracts before the end of the year.

“This is a new area for us,” Husband said. “Nobody is providing financing right now, so we are not looking to buy right now. This is an option we can do until things turn around.”

Husband said his company is primarily seeking short-term management contracts with lenders, similar to what it handled with Country Club of the South. Heritage operated that Atlanta-region course for about six months, until ClubCorp bought the facility in late June.

Husband said his company helped the Long Point Golf Club members put together private equity, and they are hopeful to manage the course for the long term. The par-72 was designed by Tom Fazio and has close to 500 golf members. Penciling out to 6,775 yards from the back tees, the course has been acclaimed as on of the “Top 50 Courses in Florida” by Golfweek Magazine, and one of the “Best Places to Play” by Golf Digest.

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