The deal is expected to close in March, and the new owner, which buys courses “that need some tender loving care,” plans to use the summer as a turf growing season to get the Wellington, Fla., property’s fairways, greens and tees in order.
Atlantic Golf Management is teaming up with an unknown local person to take over the ailing Binks Forest Golf Club in Wellington, Fla., the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported.
The company is doing its due diligence and expects to close on the property in early March, owner Chip Smith said. He wouldn’t talk about specifics about the deal, but said the company specializes in fixing up ailing golf courses. The company has come up with a plan to quickly get Binks back up to pristine condition, the Post reported.
“That’s part of our deal. We like finding courses that need some tender loving care,” Smith said.
The company plans to start trimming trees and hedges, and using the summer as a turf growing season to get the fairways, greens and tees in order, the Post reported.
Wellington officials are happy a private company is swooping in to try to make the course viable again. “Given that there is a private entity out there that is looking to take that on I think speaks to the viability of golf,” Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes said.
Barnes has been crunching the numbers for months to present the issue to the Village Council, which kicked around the idea of buying the property to create a municipal course. It most recently decided not to take any action, rather waiting to see if anyone else would step up and make a bid for Binks, the Post reported.
The village got two appraisals on the property that valued it at $2,700,000 and $3,400,000. Those numbers are lower than the property owners’ appraisal of $3,600,000. The numbers of this deal have not yet been released, the Post reported.
Barnes estimated it would cost an additional $750,000 to improve the course and bring it up to the village’s standards. Village residents were split on the idea of the government taking over the property. In a 2015 budget challenge survey, 55% of the 391 people were against idea of the village buying it. The renovation costs are what scared off some of the village council members, the Post reported.
The new ownership is dedicated to keeping it as a golf course, Barnes said, which is key because a deed restriction bars any other use. It would be tricky to wriggle free of the restriction and likely hurt the property values of the surrounding homes, the Post reported.