Major Golf Acquisitions
Notable Golf Course Investments of Highlight 2014
In what may represent an inflection point in golf’s post-recession recovery, private-equity funding made a decisive return to the industry last year. This activity may signal a more bullish outlook on the current value of golf courses. Four prominent golf portfolio acquisitions took place during the second half of last year. These purchases, which combined could end up totaling nearly $1 billion, involved the re-appearance of well-funded private investment firms that have been largely absent from golf during the past several years. Moreover, the deals included several of golf’s top operators, including ClubCorp and Troon Golf, the industry’s largest ownership and management groups respectively.
The foursome of big money deals were only part of the 260-plus transactions that were verified by NGF between late 2013 and the end of 2014, about 10 percent more than we identified the previous year. Those transactions included the revitalization of a vast Hawaiian project and noteworthy investments of Chinese capital into several prominent U.S. golf destinations, including Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas and Southern California.
“I don’t see acquisitions slowing down anytime soon,” said Keith Cubba, national director of Colliers Golf Group, “But it will continue to be market specific. Courses that have good business models and are in an area with a strong population of golfers will continue to be attractive from an acquisition standpoint. Investment in the golf industry, however, has not been limited to acquisitions alone. NGF is currently tracking dozens of renovations and additions to existing facilities across the country, ranging from high-end resort and residential courses to municipal operations.
Source: National Golf Foundation (NGF) / 28 January 2015