OVER $25 Million SOLD
in the first half of 2017
Crystal River Plantation Golf Resort
Crystal River, FL (Represented The Buyer)
Indian Spring Country Club
Boynton Beach, FL
The Woodlands Golf & Country Club
Riverbend Country Club
New Bern, NC
2 Undisclosed in the Atlanta Area
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looking for a new operator for Tiger Point
Golf Club earlier this year because officials were “picking up signals” that “
vendors were not being paid.” Officials in
Brevard County, Fla., reportedly received
“ambiguous responses” and “mixed messages” about the company’s future.
Last May, after learning that Integrity
was backing out of its contract, the members of Frosty Valley Country Club in
Danville, Pa., were forced to sell their
Integrity marketed itself as an expert
in revitalizing troubled properties. As a
result, its portfolio included a number of
courses that were struggling financially.
For example, Gulf Breeze hired Integrity
to manage Tiger Point because it believed
the company’s “track record of success”
would enable it to turn around the club’s
operation. Capital City Country Club in
Tallahassee, Fla., had flirted with bankruptcy before Integrity helped bring it
back to life. Mount Vintage Golf Club had
also filed for bankruptcy protection and
was in the hands of a bank when Integrity
signed a long-term lease on the property
in late 2015.
Most of Integrity’s properties are now
in other hands. A few examples: Capital
City Country Club is now managed
by Honours Golf; Orange Lake Golf in
Kissimmee is now in the hands of Brown
Golf Management; and both Forest Oaks
Country Club near Greensboro, N.C., and
Hunter’s Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.,
are operated by OB Sports. Gulf Breeze
and Brevard County are now working
with other management groups.
Some Integrity officials appear to be
going their separate ways. Ed Whalley,
the company’s chief financial officer, has
found a new job with a company outside the golf business. He declined to talk
about his time at Integrity.
Fired Founders Group
president files lawsuit
Founders Group International (FGI),
which manages 22 golf courses on South
Carolina’s Grand Strand, is the target of a
lawsuit filed by its former president, Nick
Dou, alleging financial misconduct by the
company’s managing partner, Dan Liu.
FGI was started by Liu, a Chinese inves-
tor, and Dou, a New Yorker, in 2014. The
company acquired three courses from
Classic Golf Group for approximately
$10 million in 2014 and 12 courses from
National Golf Management for $19 mil-
lion in 2015. It acquired several other
Myrtle Beach courses during that time to
bring its total to 22.
Dou served as the company’s president,
with day-to-day management respon-
sibilities shared by General Manager
Rick Taylor and Chief Financial Officer
Tommy Smothers (no relation to Tommy
Smothers of the Smothers Brothers).
Taylor had previously worked for Classic
Golf Group. In early July, Dou, Taylor and
Smothers were fired, and Steve Mays was
named acting president.
FGI restructured its operations by cre-
ating six regional positions, with three
regional managers reporting to Mays and
three superintendents reporting to Max
Morgan, its vice president of agronomy.
The company also recently appointed
Casey Cook as director of retail.
In the lawsuit, Dou attributes his fir-
ing to his questioning of Liu’s “wrongful
acts and financial irregularities” regard-
ing FGI’s operation, according to The Sun
News in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Dou’s suit
alleges that Liu misappropriated more
than $1 million from FGI, including
expenses for the purchase and upkeep of a
$390,000 boat and $550,000 for a personal
Liu is reportedly under investigation in
China for possible financial fraud through
his involvement in the lending business
Yiqian Funding, FGI’s parent company.
Bowen Press, an online news magazine
in China, reported that as much as $1.5 bil-
lion may be involved in the alleged fraud.
The company is suspected of transferring
money to a U.S. branch company that
purchased golf courses, hotels, mansions
and yachts and then sold the purchases to
Yiqian investors at inflated prices.
Dou, however, told The Sun News in
April that FGI’s purchases were made with
funding that was properly attained and
approved by the Chinese government for
investment abroad. Dou reportedly owns
10 percent of FGI.