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Golf Course in Ontario (Canada) Bankrupt

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#1 drewsterman2



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Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:03 PM

This is a beautiful course, and a Stanley Thompson design- in Owen Sound, Ontario (about 3 hours north of Toronto on Georgian Bay). Part of the problem is the opening of Cobble Beach, nearby and very high end. See the article below, cut & pasted from the Owen Sound local paper. A shame- and closing in the midst of summer too!

OSGCC hopes for investor


Posted 12 hours ago
A deep-pocketed investor or investors appear to be the last hope of saving the Owen Sound Golf & Country Club.

That was the consensus at an emergency membership meeting at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre on Wednesday, where the club's 325 members learned more details about why the 90-year-old Stanley Thompson-designed course locked its doors on Tuesday evening.

"We ferretted out what we can and cannot do and what we should and should not do, and I think it's fairly obvious that we should all move on and turn the page on this chapter," club president Bob Nicol said after the meeting.

The OSGCC's board of directors has received a few preliminary calls from people asking about the course but there's been nothing concrete. There are also rumours that a group of local business people are considering buying the course.

"There's been an interest in the situation from certain individuals, a lot of indirect inquiries," said Nicol. "I think there are a lot of potential candidates in the area and I'm optimistic. I don't think the debt they'd have to assume is unbearable for them."

The board decided last week that the club could no longer afford to stay open. It owes $1.1 million to the Bank of Montreal and by closing on Tuesday it was able to issue cheques to all of its suppliers and its 40 employees.

Wednesday's meeting looked at a couple options for the club, including its membership fundraising approximately $300,000 to keep the course open until the end of season.

"And that doesn't address the reason why we were in the position that we had to raise that money," said Nicol. "Nor does it address the concern that the bank is probably moving forward with some action now that we've shut the place down."

The OSGCC's July instalment on its debt comes due in a matter of days, but Nicol said it's technically in default because the board has closed the course.

"The bank has gone silent on us," said Nicol, who plans to meet with local bank officials as early as today to try to find a buyer for the course.

"The grass is still growing so we have to deal with this real quick. We hope this won't fall on deaf ears."

The length of that grass is an issue that could affect the value of the course.

Nicol said the groundskeeping staff has said that the greens might not be able to be salvaged after as little as two weeks without regular mowing and the rest of the course could be left in ruins in three weeks to a month. And if the approximately 350-acre property is not used as a golf course, its value falls.

The board of directors sent out an e-mail blast on Tuesday, informing members that the club was closing its doors that night.

And while rumours had floated around for a couple years that the club was in financial trouble, the move to lock the doors still caught most by surprise.

"Absolutely gobsmacked," 27-year member Pat O'Connor said.

"We weren't aware that (the problem) was to this extent. It's situations like this where the banks prove to be heartless. They want their money at all costs. What they don't consider is that this is a group of people who have an investment in the community, not just the golf course, and they want it to survive."

Long-time member Brian Warrilow said the closing is like losing an old friend.

"We just lost a friend suddenly," the 28-year member said.

"You have all the memories and all the friendships so it's a real loss. I was sitting beside guys who said I guess we won't be golfing on Sunday."

Warrilow admitted that the club needs to find a way to attract younger members. And he wondered if there was a stigma about it being a country club.

"It's not that way, it's really just a farm house that's got a kitchen attached to it," said Warrilow who also thought younger golfers may have family-related time constraints.

"Young people are under a lot of pressure if they've got families. If you're down at the soccer complex with all the young families, those people didn't get to play golf (Wednesday night).

Members were hopeful that a buyer could be found to take over the course.

"Hopefully we can get this thing put to bed quickly and we can get back to (OSGCC)," said 12-year member Paul Tindall

"It could be a wonderful business for somebody. It's a nice spot."

Edited by drewsterman2, 07 July 2011 - 09:04 PM.

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#2 twgolf


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Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:17 PM

We had the same thing happen to a great public course over the winter and it was finally bought and reopened about 4 weeks ago.  It was in better shape than ever and the greens fees were at a great price.  Memberships are being offered for $600 for the remaineder of this year and all of 2012 plus unlimited range is included.

The positive part for you is that whoever buys it will get it at a cheaper price and that may result in a better price for golf.
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#3 c7015


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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:47 AM

has it not been bought already ? I thought there were some investors interested ? I cant say I am too in the loop though I have passed by it a few times when playing cobble ...
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