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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Will club members at Point Golf Club near Charlotte bid “No Trump” on deal?

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        Donald Trump’s organization is attempting to purchase a lakeside golf community country club north of Charlotte, NC, and as in all public Trump dealings, the script reads, “There will be controversy.”

        According to local news reports and one club member who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Trump organization, with The Donald’s son Eric leading the negotiations, has been interested in The Point Golf Club

Some residents fear Trump will open their club to public play and that member costs will skyrocket.

for almost two years.  Crescent Resources, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010, originally developed The Point community and built its golf course and club.  As part of its original development agreement with Point residents, Crescent pledged to turn over the club to its members early in 2012 for $3 million.  If the members do not come up with the money by the end of April, the price rises to $5 million, according to reports.

        The golf club’s advisory board is coming under fire from some members who say they have been left in the dark on details of the negotiations and that they have proof the board has secretly negotiated a deal with Trump to purchase the club.  That “proof” includes attorneys’ invoices that indicate the deal is done, according to our source, even though a majority of members must approve any sale.  The dissident members fear that a Trump purchase could result in their private club becoming open to the public, that a hotel could follow, that the club will take on a lot of debt and that members will be asked to pony up dramatically increased fees.  Without a clear understanding of Trump’s plans, the dissident members say, they will not know what they are voting for (or against) until shortly before the vote.

        According to an article in Friday’s Charlotte Observer, a statement from the advisory board indicates, "There will be plenty of time and opportunities for the members to learn about and debate these options."

The Point would be ideal for one of my customers, but he is not interested in paying Trumped-up fees.

  However, according to our source, Crescent Resources representatives have told some dissident members that the advisory board has gone “rogue” and that they, Crescent, had no legal standing to abolish the board (which Crescent established in the first place).  Admittedly, this is a lot of hearsay, and things should become a bit clearer in the next few weeks as the board holds at least one meeting to discuss the Trump bid.

        One of my current customers will be relocating to a Charlotte-area golf community in the next few months.  The Point fits most of his and his wife's criteria except one -- predictable golf fees.  "Trump would surely turn The Point into a world-class facility," my customer wrote me after I gave him a heads up about The Point, "but I would bet everything I own he would substantially increase the cost to existing members and make it available to the public, at least semi-private."

        The Point's members are considering exactly the same thing.       

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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.