Eric Affeldt will step down as chief executive officer of ClubCorp as soon as a
replacement is found.
The announcement came in early April,
on the same day that the public company
revealed it would not pursue a strategic
transaction but instead continue to focus
on its three-pronged strategy of growth,
reinvention and acquisitions.
“The timing [of both announcements]
is awkward for me, as people link the two
more solidly than they should,” Affledt
said. “But my ego can handle it. I decided
the time had come.”
The Dallas-based company formed
a committee in January to review and
evaluate options for unlocking the value
inherent in the company and maximizing
value for all shareholders. That included
possibly selling the company.
“While we did not receive a purchase
proposal for the entire company, the
strategic review process has been useful
in identifying opportunities and potential partners. [We] will continue to consider all available alternatives to enhance
value for shareholders,” said John Beckert,
ClubCorp chairman of the board.
Affeldt retiring; ClubCorp not seeking sale
ClubCorp finished fiscal year 2016
with record revenue and EBITDA (
earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortization). It was the company’s sixth
consecutive year of growth. It has completed 89 club “reinventions” and seven
club acquisitions since the beginning of
It recently announced its fourth acquisition of 2017, the purchase of Oakhurst
Golf & Country Club, a private club in
Clarkston, Mich., near Detroit. ClubCorp
plans to spend more than $1 million to
“reinvent” the club, bringing new dining and social features to the clubhouse
and patio, plus improvements to the golf
course and aquatics center.
Affeldt, 59, joined ClubCorp as president and CEO in 2006 and led the company through the best 10 years of its
60-year history in terms of financial performance. His compensation has been
estimated at as much as $2.2 million a
year. He is the largest shareholder of the
Prior to joining ClubCorp, Affeldt was
a principal of KSL Capital Partners. KSL
acquired ClubCorp from the Dedman
family in 2006 for $1.8 billion. Affeldt was
charged with taking the company public,
which he did in 2013. Since then, Affeldt
has been a leading spokeperson for the
golf and club industry.
“We have had to explain why this is a
good business, and it is tiresome,” he said.
“Being a public company is a beatdown.
There is no question about it.”
Affeldt maintains that private clubs are
a solid investment because of the stable
revenue that comes from membership
dues. He said his proudest accomplish-
ment has been the reinvention of the com-
pany’s clubs and the club business.
“[ClubCorp founder] Robert Dedman
created the modern club industry, and I
had the opportunity to reinvent it,” Affeldt
That strategy has included significant
capital investments designed to make
clubs more family friendly.
Affeldt expects the board to find a
replacement before the end of July. He
said an internal candidate would be an
excellent choice, but he understands the
board’s desire to look externally as well.
He said it is too soon to decide what
he will do next, but he expects to stay
invested in ClubCorp and to devote more
time to family.
“I don’t want to be the guy who wakes
up in the hospital one day and says, ‘I wish
I had spent more time with my family,’” he
Troon promotes two,
adds California courses
Troon continued to make person-
nel changes since the departure of
John Easterbrook for PGA of America.
Easterbrook had been with Troon for
almost 20 years and was chief operating
officer and executive vice president.
Bruce Glasco, who was president of
Troon International, and Mike Ryan,
who was president of Troon Golf, were
ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeldt,
shown here at the 2016 Golf Inc.
Strategies Summit, has announced
that he plans to retire.