2013-04-04 / Front Page

Great Cove Golf Club Looks To Reorganization

Local ownership option explored
By Jamie Greathead

A plan to restructure Great Cove Golf Club and pay off its debt has been initiated by members and directors. A plan to restructure Great Cove Golf Club and pay off its debt has been initiated by members and directors. Facing foreclosure and the loss of a long-held community asset, the board of directors, corporation members and members of Great Cove Golf and Recreation Club agreed to move ahead with a plan to pay off the debt and reorganize the club as a for-profit partnership through the sale of equity memberships at a special meeting held Saturday evening at the course’s clubhouse.

The golf club is currently organized as a not-for-profit corporation with membership. The membership certificates were sold to the public and entitled the holder to vote for the corporation’s board of directors that ran the club.

Addressing the meeting, former JLG Industries president and longtime member and golf-course supporter Craig Paylor said, “The basic plan is to set several options for the members and management to consider in structuring the purchase of this golf course from the existing bank and making it an operating entity owned by those of us willing to put our money on the table and buy it.”

Paylor said, “There is no attempt here to say that if someone is not in position to put cash into this venture that they are in any way less than a full and welcome member to this club as long as they are a dues-paying golfer as they have always been.”

The current mortgage is held by The Landisburg Bank of Landisburg, Pa. The golf course will go into receivership on June 6 unless the loan can be satisfied. Members took the first steps toward a restructuring plan at Saturday’s special meeting.

Paylor outlined an ownership plan with four separate equity ownership levels: $10,000; $20,000; $50,000 and $100,000. In addition to club ownership, each level would have membership privileges.

The $10,000 level would include free family membership for 10 years as well as carts for half price for five years. Clubhouse membership would be half price for two years and include other facilities yet to open.

Paylor pointed out that a $10,000 loan at 6 percent for 10 years is only $111.02 per month. He also told the meeting that the 10-year membership benefits very nearly covered the cost of the ownership share.

A $20,000 level buy-in would include free family membership for 20 years and half-price carts for 10 years and other benefits.

The $50,000 plan would include life family membership, with the ability to pass the remaining years on to one direct descendent at the time of death, illness or other circumstance beyond the owner’s control, or board approval. Time that could be passed on would be capped at 30 years. No cart fees for the original member, ever, and free clubhouse membership and facilities for 30 years.

The $100,000 plan is the same as the $50,000 except the remaining memberships can be passed down two generations for any and all children. Maximum time it can be passed down is 50 years. Other privileges are as included in the 50-year plan with the extended expiration.

Under the restructuring and reorganization plan the board of directors would be made up of 10 individuals. Members who buy $100,000 or $50,000 equity will have a permanent board seat. The seat may be passed on with restrictions. Any decision on dues structure or any major changes to the functioning of the club as originally put in place will be decided by a vote of the entire owner membership.

Votes will be allotted to equity members, with a $10,000 owner receiving one vote, $20,000 owner receiving two votes, $50,000 owner three votes and $100,000 owner getting four votes.

The special meeting was attended by more than 75 people, with 20 or more people indicating they would commit to the equity ownership plan.

“Everyone who makes a pledge in the next 10 days (Wednesday, April 10) will have 60 days to get the money into the club,” said Paylor, who told the meeting that if after 10 days there is no commitment for $500,000 another plan should be considered or the property should be put up for sale.

Board Vice President Matt Segal is urging everyone with a present or past interest in the golf course to please contact him at 301-331-1534 to discuss the equity membership plan. He is urging anyone who needs information and was unable to attend the meeting to contact him. “Remember after this offer closes that’s it. It will never be offered again,” he said.

Great Cove Golf and Recreation Club opened in September 1967, with the back nine holes being added in 1990. The effort to save this almost 50-year-old county institution is of vital interest to the thousands of people who have been part of it.

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