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Exclusive South Carolina Course Files for Bankruptcy

Photo: Island Connection News

The recession of 2008 is continually echoing throughout the golf industry. The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, a private club near Charleston, S.C., made that clear Tuesday when it filed for bankruptcy.

According to an article from The Post & Courier in Charleston, S.C., the club claimed liabilities of $37 million and assets of just $1.56 million; certainly not a successful ratio.

“The club has weathered the golf market downturn of the last four to five years, however, the club needed to regroup in order to ensure its long-term success,” founding member Michael Martin said in a statement. “The details of the proposed plan have been presented to club founders and members, and feedback is positive that the restructuring will allow the club to flourish.”

The extremely private course—it maintains just 300 members—is part of a popular golf destination southwest of Charleston that includes the famed Kiawah Island courses.

Tying both courses together is Houston Texans billionaire owner Robert McNair, a possible buyer for Briar’s Creek. McNair, who made his wealth founding Cogen Technologies, eventually selling it to Enron, is already a member at both Briar’s Creek and Kiawah Island and is reportedly heading a group of investors interested in purchasing the club. He grew up just four hours north of Briar’s Creek and is worth approximately $2.4 billion.

The most recent report from the NGF reported that 13.5 courses opened in 2013, whereas 154.5 courses closed. 2013 was the eighth-consecutive year in which closures trumped openings. Although the numbers from 2014 have not yet been released, the trend doesn’t look promising.

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