ClubCorp Acquires Marsh Creek Country Club in Florida

ClubCorp, Dallas, announced its acquisition of Marsh Creek Country Club in St. Augustine, Florida, on Wednesday.

ClubCorp plans a capital project that will bring new amenities, improvements and upgrades to the club, the company said in a media release.  The purchase price was not disclosed.

“Marsh Creek is a beautiful facility offering one of the finest experiences in North Florida,” ClubCorp President and CEO Eric Affeldt said in a statement. “With an active membership base, Marsh Creek is a perfect complement to our nearby clubs and to the rest of the ClubCorp network.”

The company’s presence in the Jacksonville area also includes Deercreek Country Club, Queen’s Harbour Yacht and Country Club, the downtown University Club of Jacksonville and LPGA International in Daytona Beach.

Marsh Creek Country Club is the 10th club acquired by ClubCorp in the past 13 months. ClubCorp acquired Bernardo Heights Country Club near San Diego in December 2015. In November 2015, ClubCorp sold The Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch, Florida, for a reported $3.4 million. ClubCorp acquired The Legacy Golf Club in April 2015 as part of a six-club acquisition for a combined purchase price of just under $44 million.

“ClubCorp is an ideal fit for the members and community,” Roger O'Steen, president and owner of Marsh Creek Club Corp, said in the statement. “They are committed to quality and offer members such a great experience at all their clubs.”

O'Steen, who was the original developer of the Marsh Creek Country Club Community and owned the club for 29 years, did not plan to sell the club until he visited ClubCorp properties in Dallas, according to a St. Augustine Record report.

“It (Marsh Creek) was never on the market; we never had the intention of selling,” O’Steen told the St. Augustine Record. “We worked out a transaction that we thought was fair to both parties."

O'Steen also is the founder and chairman of the PARC Group, the developer of Nocatee, Pablo Creek Reserve, Crosswater at Pablo Bay and other northeast Florida communities. Marsh Creek features an 18-hole golf course located between gated community homes and natural marshland. Amenities include a clubhouse offering upscale and casual dining, a tennis center with 10 clay courts (six lighted for night play), fitness and aerobics rooms, a pool and private event space.

Marsh Creek members will be able to utilize ClubCorp's O.N.E. program, which includes benefits at the member's home club, complimentary green fees and complimentary dining in ClubCorp's network.

ClubCorp owns or operates a portfolio of more than 200 golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs and alumni clubs in 26 states, the District of Columbia and two other countries that serve more than 430,000 members, with approximately 20,000 peak-season employees. Many of ClubCorp's properties include fitness centers.

ClubCorp stock, which hit a 52-week high of $24.95 per share in July 2015, hit a new 52-week low of $11.48 per share on Feb. 3. On Friday, ClubCorp's stock fell further to $10.95 per share in early trading.  In January, Jeffries analyst Randal Konick cited ClubCorp as a top retail investment for 2016, according to a Benzinga report.

"The combination of easy compares, a healthy consumer, more rationalized real estate fleets and attractive valuations (especially on cash flows) both on an absolute and relative basis makes us more optimistic for our (retail) group in 2016," Konik told Benzinga.

ClubCorp ranked No. 5 on Club Industry's Top 100 Health Clubs  of 2015 with 2014 revenue of $844.16 million.