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South Carolina Golf Club in the Hands of a Bankruptcy Judge

04/22/2015

Currently, the South Carolina Golf Club at Briar’s Creek is before a bankruptcy judge but there is a possibility of it being sold to investors. However, in order for the sale to finalize, some of the club’s members must first vote.

Official Court Documents

According to court documents, Judge John Waites of the US Bankruptcy Court in Charleston South Carolina gave attorneys for Briar’s Creek the green light in sending the sales proposal out to both former and current members who anticipate recovering less than 50 percent of the $13 million owed the in the form of refunds.

As part of the official proposal, investors would purchase the club for $7.4 million in cash. As reported by The Post and Courier, the investors are led by Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans football team. With the sale, McNair would become the primary owner of the private, 18-hole club.

The results of the voting will be reviewed by Judge Waites, along with voting results from various creditors at the bankruptcy confirmation hearing scheduled for May 13.

At this time, there are roughly 50 people still employed at Briar’s Creek. The course filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 9 after confirmation that only a small number of people were persuaded to build homes on open lots. The entire golf community stretches over 900 acres and to date, has just eight developed housing lots.

Member Voting

In all, there are about 210 members of Briar’s Creek. During the recession, the number of members began to decline. As stated by the attorney working on behalf of the club, because there is already a high price point for membership, more members will resign if additional increases to fees and dues are set.

McNair, along with Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive with General Electric Company, and a few other people, founded the club. Initially, Briar’s Creek did well and was even voted the best new private club in the country by Golf Digest in 2002.

For quite some time, the club maintained a low profile. The entrance into the lavish golf community was only marked with a small wooden sign near the entrance. However, as the club had difficulty in bringing the number of members up, a professional consultant was hired to place signs on billboards and put ads in top magazines.

In the court documents it also shows that in 2013, the club brought in $2.5 million and last year, $4.1 million. However, business has not been sustained because revenue coming from membership fees, dues, food and beverage sales, pro shop sales, and user fees has been too low.

If the sale to investors goes through, some debt, which includes a loan to Southcoast Community Bank valued at $2.9 million would be paid off. In addition, a nearly $3.9 million loan to the club from Mr. Myrick would be forgiven.

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