Chinese Investment Group Buys 12 More Myrtle Beach Golf Courses
Founders Group International (FGI)
FGI acquired 12 golf courses from National Golf Management for a reported $19.2 million in late April, the Horry Independent reported. A few days prior it had announced the purchase of Traditional Golf Club in Pawleys Island and Wild Wing Plantation near Myrtle Beach. Both had been owned by different investor groups and managed by National Golf Management. FGI had acquired seven other courses in the prior eight months, including three from Classic Golf Group in October for $11 million.
Chinese investor, Dan Liu and New Yorker Nick Dou are primary owners of Yiqian Funding, Founders Group International’s parent company. Dou will serve as president of Founders Group International, and day-to-day management responsibilities will be spread among key executives for the organization. No changes to staffing at individual facilities are planned at this time. “Not long after their first golf purchase in the Myrtle Beach area in 2014, our board has been in touch with FGI, forming a closer relationship when we agreed to the sale of Aberdeen to them,” said Bob Mauragas, president of National Golf Management, now known as Strand Golf Management.
“Throughout this relationship, we've been very impressed, not only with their enthusiasm for golf in this market, but also with their willingness to invest significant capital in our community. Because of this, as well as a commitment to retain our team members, we decided that this was a great opportunity for our area and our parent companies.” The courses acquired in the latest acquisition are: Grande Dunes Resort Course, King's North at Myrtle Beach National, Litchfield Country Club, Myrtlewood, Palmetto, Myrtlewood Pinehills, Pawley's Plantation, Pine Lakes Country Club, River Club, South Creek at Myrtle Beach National, The Long Bay Club, West Course at Myrtle Beach National and Willbrook Plantation.
The company’s previously acquired courses are: Aberdeen, Burning Ridge, Colonial Charters, Founders Club, Indian Wells, River Hills, TPC Myrtle Beach, Tradition Club Wild Wing and World Tour. The acquisition also includes National Golf Management’s call center known as “Tee Time Central,” its golf package operations known as “Ambassador Golf” and “Myrtle Beach Golf Trips,” the most visited golf-related websites in Myrtle Beach including www.mbn.com/ www.myrtlebeachgolftrips.com / www.myrtlebeachtrips.com / www.mbgolfinsider.com and National Golf Management’s local membership program known as “Prime Times.”
“We are incredibly excited about this acquisition,” Dou said. “Not only does it add 12 great golf courses to our portfolio, it adds a marketing engine, call center and high traffic websites that will help drive rounds and revenue. We now have a diverse and experienced management team made up of skilled golf industry veterans to help us continue our success into the future. We have made a substantial investment in the Myrtle Beach community and look forward to a bright future here.”
As a result of the sale, National Golf Management is re-branding itself as Strand Golf Management. Strand Golf Management has retained National Golf Management’s board of directors. It will manage Arcadian Shores Golf Course and Waterway Hills Golf Links, two Myrtle Beach-area courses that the company previously operated. It is also managing Blackmoor Golf Club until the course’s management contract expires at the end of June, when further plans will be decided. Farmstead Golf Links and Meadowlands Golf Club will be self managed reported Sun News.
Founders Group International is now the largest owner/operator of golf courses and clubs in Myrtle Beach and one of the largest employers in the area. It is partnering with Chinese travel agencies to bring more golfers to the area. Both Liu and Dou plan to live in the Myrtle Beach area.
Source: Golf Course Magazine.com / Laira Martin /May 7, 2015