Golf Courses Being Purchased by Members to Avoid Redevelopment

Members make offer on Richland golf courses
Residents of Northeast neighborhoods want to prevent redevelopment

May 30, 2008

By Dawn Hinshaw – The State

Members of two golf clubs, wanting to ensure that hundreds of acres of prime real estate in Richland Northeast aren’t redeveloped, have offered to buy the WildeWood and Woodcreek country clubs.

Members were notified by letter last week that a steering committee had extended a preliminary offer to owner Golf Trust of America, in Charleston.

Resident Bill McDougall, who is heading the effort, would not disclose the amount of the offer.

“The immediate goal is to correct the downward slide the clubs have experienced,” McDougall’s May 22 letter to 950 members of the two clubs said.

Mike Pearce, the new president of Golf Trust of America, said Thursday, “We’re in dialogue with the members group, but we are not currently acting on any offer” from them.

Pearce said the two properties were appraised at $5.4 million in January, though they are not being marketed for sale.

As golf courses around the country age, a tension is developing between club owners interested in profiting from the land and residents who paid a premium for homes along the fairways.

Earlier this month, in neighboring Lexington County, some 300 members of Timberlake beat developers to the purchase of that 20-year-old club. Residents said the $3 million deal would ensure the golf course remains a centerpiece of their Lake Murray community.


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