SUTTON, Mass – For the estimated $3 billion golf industry in Massachusetts, the big question is how deep will the financial impact be due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Can we agree the absolute least essential position at private country clubs is Director of Membership Sales? For obvious reasons, there aren’t any golfers filling out new member applications, including the requisite $5,000 or $10,000 initiation fee, and then annual dues ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.
If employed as Director of Membership Sales, you already filed an unemployment claim, and that job won’t be posted soon on Indeed dot Com.
What’s likely to happen is an uptick in bank foreclosures and auctions. The bigger auction companies like Dan McLaughlin, Paul Saperstein and J.J. Manning will thrive in this recession, and make no mistake, the recession has arrived. The sad realistic fact is that if you’re in the golf business, making a profit will be challenging, and that includes the especially hard-hit golf media.
Which leads us to write about one of the first major casualties involving the rumored $3.5 million purchase price of historic Pleasant Valley Country Club.
As reported in New England dot Golf in October, Pleasant Valley – which over the span of 38 years has hosted a combined total of 45 PGA and LPGA tournaments and from the late 60’s to late 90’s the greatest names in professional golf have played here – was listed “FOR SALE” for $4 million.
According to listing broker Rob Waldron, of Marcus & Millichap, several qualified parties reviewed the potential purchase with a major Florida consortium, eventually entering into a purchase-and-sale agreement in January. Although unspecified, the purchase price from Pleasant Valley ownership company, 95 Armsby Road LLC was in the $3.5 million range.
According to Sutton, Massachusetts town hall tax records the property sold for $5 million in December 2010. The current assessed valuation is $5.3 million with hefty annual tax rate of $88,195.
A letter dated March 19 to Pleasant Valley members states that deal is terminated.
“These are difficult times for all business’ and it’s not surprising that the new buyers’ pulled out of the deal due to us entering unchartered financial territory in the year ahead,” said Rob Phipps, a retired insurance executive and 28-year member. “I have many fond memories of Pleasant Valley dating back to the early 70’s playing golf with my Dad to attending almost all of the PGA events. I think what the members and their guests are most proud of the past 10 years is the commitment from the Magill family to keep the course in spectacular condition while maintaining a healthy, thriving membership.”
The glory days at PV are long gone. At the moment the property is off the market, soon to be re-listed, when the U.S. economy steadies, accord to Waldron. The 18-hole 6,988-yard, par 72 golf course with 30,000 sq. ft. clubhouse situated on 136 acres is going to be “FOR SALE” again with a probable asking price of $4 million.
For the time being, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no potential buyers of Pleasant Valley or of any golf courses in the world. Almost every multi-million-dollar transaction negotiated only 30 days ago or longer has been either suspended or terminated until the U.S. and world economy stabilizes.
Rich in history and tradition since its debut in 1961, Pleasant Valley Country Club will forever maintain a nationally acclaimed reputation as New England’s Home of Professional Golf.
“I’m confident that whoever the next owners are, the formidable golf legacy of Pleasant Valley will remain an integral part of their plans going forward,” added Phipps. “We all hope for brighter days ahead.”
(For further information contact Tom @ New England dot Golf at firstname.lastname@example.org.)