Centier Bank is
currently the new owner of The Brassie Golf Club after the man who built it,
George Middleton, “decided to walk away” from the business this summer.
possession of The Brassie on July 15, the club’s PGA pro, Duane Borcherding,
told the Chesterton Tribune on Monday.
contracted with GolfVisions of North Lake, Ill., to manage The Brassie until
a new owner is found, Borcherding said. In the meantime, “Operations will
continue as normal.”
A combination of
factors led to Middleton’s decision to quit, not the least of which is the
“fatal blow” struck by the “economic downturn” to golf clubs across the
country, Borcherding noted. “Golf, unfortunately, is an expensive sport even
at the low end and it demands time that people struggle to justify
Middleton—who operated golf clubs as well in Indianapolis and in Houston and
Austin, Texas—arranged with Centier in the winter of 2010 to adjust the
mortgage on The Brassie. “The adjustments looked very doable and a nice
winter of revenue had everyone optimistic,” Borcherding said.
Borcherding also observed, golf is heavily weather dependent and the spring
of 2011 “by everyone’s account was the worst ever. Not the worst in a few
years, the worst ever.”
revenue is gone, there is no way to rebound even with favorable weather for
the rest of the season,” Borcherding said. “After an extremely poor April
and May, by the middle of June the writing was on the wall.” In quick
succession Middleton lost three courses “and then decided to walk away from
The Brassie effective July 15.”
was a very successful businessman who loved golf but golf didn’t love him
back,” Borcherding said.
spokesperson declined to speak about its control of The Brassie, citing
policy “not to comment on any banking relationships we have with our
strongly optimistic about The Brassie’s future. “With a new dynamic in
place, the golfers at The Brassie and Owner No. 2 will be in a nice position
to see additional moneys spent on the course, in the operation, and in
promotions,” he said. “Without a mortgage and interest in place, the
operational profits will be driven back into the operation by the bank with
the help of management company GolfVisions.”
operates 17 facilities in Chicagoland and Florida and has “much access to
resources, labor, and a wealth of knowledge and experience with golf
facilities of varying types,” Borcherding added.
GolfVisions’ management, the transition has been seamless, Borcherding said.
“Membership and golf ticket packages are in place. The outing schedule and
golf tournament schedule are filling up fast and will be finalized over the
winter months. All golf programs, policies and procedures, and staffing are
being renewed with everyone looking forward to spring and taking advantage
of the optimism that is in place for the golf industry and the regional