the U.S., they need to be thinking about
this. The way they’re set up now is not a
recipe for long-term success.”
— Scott Kauffman
Tom Bennison, ClubCorp
This publicly traded juggernaut has
acquired 11 properties in the past 18
months and is actively seeking more, said
Tom Bennison, senior vice president of
business development. The Dallas-based
company’s total revenue grew by 19 percent to more than $1 billion in 2015.
It increased EBITDA by 18. 9 percent
to $233 million. ClubCorp
picked up a
pair of private
this year: Marsh
Club in St.
and Santa Rosa
Club in Santa Rosa, Calif. And that was
on the heels of acquiring the high-profile
Bernardo Heights Country Club in San
Diego in December.
Two of their best deals, or “steals” as one
broker describes it, were Santa Rosa and
Bernardo Heights, which they picked up
at prices sharply below market. Santa Rosa
club president Mark Matthews told a local
newspaper that ClubCorp received own-
ership of the 128-acre Sonoma County
property by paying off the mortgage
the club had on the estimated $12 mil-
lion construction of a new Spanish-style
clubhouse in 2001. Matthews declined to
specify the size of the mortgage, but he
told The (Santa Rosa) Press Democrat,
“On their books, it will look like a $5 mil-
lion to $6 million transaction.”
Bennison, who also made our list last
year, said ClubCorp’s growth strategy is a
win-win for shareholders and members.
“We have a very robust pipeline of
opportunities with nice geographic diver-
sification, and we continue to proactively
source very hard opportunities to acquire
clubs in markets we believe represent
good investments for our shareholders
and good network adds for the benefit of
our members,” he said.
— Scott Kauffman
Pacific Links International
Last year, Pacific Links made our list as a
buyer. This year, the company is one of the
Du Sha, a Chinese entrepreneur who
became a Canadian citizen, founded Pacific
Links in 2009 and acquired 11 courses in
the U.S., as well as 12 in China. The business plan was to build a portfolio of courses
that would cater
who would travel
to play golf. The
network of affiliate and recipro-cal-play courses that would expand the
offerings to members.
It did such a good job with the affiliates that it felt ownership was no longer
“We evaluated our strategic options and
realized the purpose was not required
anymore,” said Rudy Anderson, who
took over as president of the company in
January. “The network itself is very strong.
So, we decided to recycle the capital.”
Anderson, who previously ran CNL
Financial Group and has several years of
experience working in Asia, has slowly
been selling the company’s U.S. courses.
Pacific Links has sold Kapolei Golf
Course and Olomana Golf Links in
Hawaii, and DragonRidge Country
Club and SouthShore Golf Club, both in
Henderson, Nev. It expects to soon part
Kailua, Hawaii. That will bring its U.S.
portfolio down to three properties.