Grand Haven Golf Club Under Sales Contract

Ending at least two years of rumors, the CB Richard Ellis real estate website changes Palm Coast, FL’s Grand Haven Golf Course status from ”For Sale” to ”Under Contract.”

Palm Coast, FL – September 23, 2010 – After at least two years of rumors about the Grand Haven Golf Course in Palm Coast, FL being "For Sale," commercial real estate company CB Richard Ellis’ website posted an "under contract" notice to the Grand Haven property listing this afternoon. The Jack Nicklaus-designed private course built by Lowe Development had been owned for the last 10 years by Crescent Resources, the land development and real estate subsidiary of Charlotte-based Duke Energy.
grand haven eithteenth hole, palm coast, gotoby.comCrescent’s local subsidiary, LandMar Group could not have timed their acquisition of the Grand Haven development any better. I moved to Grand Haven from Charleston, SC in early 2000, just after LandMar’s acquisition, a short time before the real estate boom became apparent. At the time there were only about 200 residences in a gated community planned for 1900 residential units.
A short time after their purchase, Landmar announced that they would build a new clubhouse (replacing a double-wide many fondly remember) and take the golf club private. During the boom times, the decision paid off in spades as Grand Haven real estate prices soared.
Once Wild Oaks, the last phase of Grand Haven, was sold out, I began to wonder what possible role the continued ownership of the golf course could have for a land development company. That was about the time some people began to speculate that the property might be for sale.
The subsequent Chapter 11 Bankruptcy of Crescent Resources and over 100 of its subsidiaries, including LandMar, brought the issue to a head. After emerging from bankruptcy, Crescent began to unload non-core assets, including Florida and Georgia holdings. It would only be a matter of time. That time has come.
Of the hundreds of courses I’ve played Grand Haven ranks among the best. It’s a challenging course. It punishes poorly hit shots but never good ones. One can play Grand Haven for years and never become bored with the course. As a long-time golfer and Grand Haven resident, I can only hope the new owner respects the many years of loyalty from its existing member base.
Grand Haven is a special place filled with special people. Grand Haven’s sister courses in The Grand Club (also owned by Crescent) went "Under Contract" last week. The Grand Club’s new owner also inherits a great membership base. I encourage the new owner to appreciate them.
Toby Tobin
17 replies
  1. Lewis Roberts
    Lewis Roberts says:

    Grand Haven Golf Club

    Hopefully the new owner with have reasonable rates/programs for residents of Grand Haven. For a while the course has been closed to residents who are not members. I called again and asked the other day, and to my surprise it was open to grand Haven residents again.

    The rate: $100+!

    I think I will continue to play Halifax Plantation for about $23.

    Every time I go by the clubhouse parking lot, there can’t be more than 20 cars on the weekend. How many of those cars are staff?

    Open it up to residents of Grand Haven at reasonable rates. If that doesn’t fill the course, then open it up to non-residents too.

    Never understood why members can’t mingle with non-members. Non-members just don’t get all the same privileges.

  2. George Meegan
    George Meegan says:

    tee time for property values in GH

    With the new owner of the course will come a new push for members on a national level, which will bring buyers to the area. Time to get properties ready for sale next spring, if your ready to move, as nothing new is being built yet on remaining lots, at least in speculation. Can you say 40 thousand more at a minimum. Well off retirees are just as good as jobs for property values in GH.

  3. jean
    jean says:


    Do you know if there will be any consideration given to the members who have relinquished their membership ie. new owners buy back the memberships,open play to the public ? As a golfing member currently on the waiting list to sell my membership I would like an opportunity to get out before they open it at any further discount to the public.

  4. David J. Widom
    David J. Widom says:

    Grand Haven

    Grand haven is a private golf course. Is it equity or corporately owned?
    Can one be a member who does not own property in Grand Haven?
    Do you know the amount of the bond or initiation dues, and cart fees?

    Thank you

  5. Sam
    Sam says:


    If any course in the area needs good news it’s Matanzas. Grand Haven has atleast stayed open. What about Matanzas Toby? What do see for it down the road as a most likely scenario for a re-opening…. and when?

  6. Mike
    Mike says:

    Chiming in here…

    Just to chime in here, looking at the Flagler County Property Appraisers "Just Value" (Market Value) for each of the three Grand Club courses; Cypress $2.4M, Pines $2.9M, Closed Matanzas $680k equates to nearly $6 Million for the three. My assumption as to why the asking price was $2.2M for the three courses is that they had factored in the cost to revamp Matanzas. If the courses are now valued at roughly $6M with Matanzas closed, when they revamp/reopen Matanzas, its "just value" could come in around the $3M mark or more. This would mean the now three open courses "just value" would be a minimum of around $8.5M. $8.5M minus the approximate $2M sales price would mean the potential new owner of The Grand Club could easily put $6.5M into Matanzas to do it up. Hope this makes sense…

  7. bb
    bb says:

    Reply to Mike

    Your post seems to suggest that the values of property are based on the "just" value in the property appraiser records vs. the price the market will bear. Toby’s comments regarding the market value reflect reality. The property appraiser values are almost meaningless in this market.

  8. Mike
    Mike says:

    Reply to bb

    In this market, the current Flagler County property appraiser’s values have more meaning than they’ve ever have. Previously, the real estate sales volume was such a rapid pace that the county property appraiser values were always a lagging figure. Now that the pace of sales has slowed dramatically, the property appraiser values are much more true and accurate.

    Verbiage straight from our county appraiser’s website:
    The Supreme Court of Florida has declared "just value" to be legally synonymous to "full cash value" and "fair market value." The fair market value of your property is the amount for which it could sell on the open market. The Property Appraiser analyzes these market transactions annually to determine fair market value as of January1.

  9. bb
    bb says:

    Reply back to Mike

    I understand your point regarding the pace of sales normalizing the "just" value and it makes sense when you’re talking residential homes with many data points. There are not many data points for Golf Courses for sale. Pretty much every course is under distress these days. In my opinion the value is overstated by the PA. Spending $6 Million on Manatanzas based on a "Just Value" would be a terrible business decision in my humble opinion which is supported by the fact that the most recent owner shut it down, further supported by the fact that no business has dared touch it since. Bottom line, I agree with Toby’s assessment that only significant growth in PC can make Mantanzas viable again.

  10. Jeff
    Jeff says:


    The mantanzas golf course could easily be made playable without much work. The main thing on the course(cause I have just walked some of it) is the irrigation system. The greens could be brought back. The fairways and tees just need some of the weeds sprayed and heavy maintenance done as well. Verticutting, and a IPM program would greatly help as would frequent mowing and topdressing of the greens. But irrigation is the main thing to get in order for this course. 1 million in renovations would make this course playable.

  11. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to David, Jean

    Grand Haven is corporately owned. Members pay an initiation fee. The "refundable" (under certain circumstances) initiation fee was once as high as $35,000 but now is between $5,000 and $7,500 according to their website. Non-Grand Haven residents can join with a callable membership. A new buyer (unknown) has the course under contract. When (and if) they take over, the whole game can change.

  12. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to Sam

    Sadly, I have a hard time imagining a scenario where the Matanzas Golf Course will reopen, certainly not in the near future. The rehabilitation of the Palm Harbor course cost about the City of Palm Coast about $5 million – without a clubhouse. Why would someone spend that much money when they can buy an existing golf course for under $2 million – clubhouse included? People in the golf industry tell me that the industry is about 15 percent overbuilt. The number of active golfers is shrinking, not growing. The industry will not return to health until attrition has taken the excess 15% out of business.

    There is hope that the future will bring a growing and prosperous Palm Coast. If that happens soon enough, the local golf market may become saturated again, driving up the potential value of another course. Rehabilitating Matanzas would be less costly than constructing a new course.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply