Report Of Lochenheath Golf Resort Sale Unfounded

Course Not Part Of Development Property Sale

A story in a local Traverse City newsletter reporting that the LochenHeath Golf Resort is up for sale for $8.5 million is completely untrue, said Mike Husby, the facility’s general manager and director of golf.

“One of the biggest concerns we ran into today was from the people who have events booked in here wondering what’s going on. Worst yet, we have members who just invested $5,000 for an initiation fee, local people, calling up and saying ‘wait a minute, we just gave an initiation fee and now you’re selling. That didn’t go over very good,” Husby said.

Husby said the lofty $8.5 million price tag should have alerted the newsletter’s editors that the report was shaky.

“If you want to give me $8.5 million you would certainly own a golf club,” Husby joked.

The report in The Ticker said the golf club was part of a $124 million portfolio of 20 properties of more than 7,000 acres in 10 states that will be put up for sale by Land Advisors Organization, a real estate company with listings in seven states from California to Florida.

The report said more than 1,100 residential properties are included in the proposed sale, including 356 platted building sites and another 290 acres reserved for building lots at LochenHeath.

In December last year, a local group of investors, LochenVest LLC, bought the golf club in a foreclosure sale after it had been closed for two years. They did not purchase the surrounding land that was earmarked for development.

Husby was brought in to run the club and he said his group couldn’t be more pleased with the results of their first season and are anticipating even better returns this year.

“Unlike last year, we’re beginning this year with everything in place the way we want it,” Husby said. “We don’t have to recover from the condition the property was in when we got it. The course is in great shape, the entrance way, the flowerbeds, the putting surfaces are perfect, and we’ve established a great food and beverage operation and we can’t wait to get started in 2012.”

Husby said going into last season he budgeted for 8,500 rounds of golf and was delighted instead to record more than 12,000 rounds.

“While that’s not a many rounds as we want to do, it was a good start considering a lot of people still don’t realize we are a public course,” he said. The operation has earned local and national praise for its food and beverage service.

The 7,239-yard track on the outskirts of Traverse City commands spectacular views of East Grand Traverse Bay. The course meanders over 600 acres of a hilly, rolling tree-lined terrain of a former cherry orchard that provides a perfect setting for rugged golf holes with expansive fairways, spiced by severe elevation changes from tees to greens.

Florida golf architect Steve Smyers infused a Scottish seaside feel to the layout with a routing that brings lake views to 16 of the 18 holes. Deep white sand bunkers framed by shaggy grass collars, and ridges covered with tall native grasses provide great contrasts to the blue background of the bay.

 

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