Three weeks ago, I was delighted
to announce that Golfnow.com,
our partner in the discount tee time business, had upgraded MyPhillyGolf.com to from an "area
specific," or local, booking engine to a "national" booking engine.
In other words, if you take
golf trips or vacations, you can use the Golfnow.com portal on
MyPhillyGolf to book discounted tee
times in places like Scottsdale, Pinehurst and plenty of other golf
Unfortunately, what was
missing at the time was any participation by courses in one of the most popular
golf destinations on the East Coast: Myrtle
That changed today, when we
got word that many Myrtle Beach
courses have now signed on with Golfnow.com.More courses, more choices.
While the members of LuLu Country Club voted to give their board the go-ahead to finalize the sale of the
club to Hansen Properties, Inc. last
Thursday, the deal is not yet done.
In fact, as a couple of readers have pointed
out in emails, Upper Dublin Township
has the "right of first refusal."What that means, in layman’s terms, is that Upper Dublin Township has the right to match the offer to LuLu CC.
That is true, confirmed to me by LuLu CC president Paul Muller and Upper Dublin
Township manager Paul Leonard.What I can’t figure out is what
motivation the township might have to nix the deal and buy LuLu.
Although the LuLu clubhouse and golf course,
a classic Donald Ross design, sit on
a 115 acres of desirable and bucolic property, the chance of it being turned
over to developers is zero.It was
the desire to keep the property as undeveloped "open space" that prompted Upper Dublin Township to pay LuLu $2.25
million in 2009 for the future development rights.
The Open Space Plan identified 51 open space parcels as vulnerable
to development and prioritized protections for each, placing them in one of
four categories (in declining order of importance) "conservation/protection
easements," "action," "interest" and "watch" depending on their significance in
meeting the open space needs and objectives. While this is a somewhat fluid
list, care should be taken to focus on primary conservation and recreation
needs when purchasing properties or easements. The Township should continue to
pursue purchase of land, and when possible conservation easements, for
properties identified on the priority lists. Where appropriate, it should seek
to partner with other government entities and conservation groups to leverage
bond funds in such purchases. The locations of parcels included in the Open
Space Plan priority lists are shown in figure 4.4.
TO WORK PROACTIVELY TO CONSERVE THE PRIVATELY-OWNED GOLF COURSES AS
September 2009, the Township acquired the development rights for the 115-acre
Lulu Country Club for $2.25 million. The
agreement between Upper Dublin and Lulu permits the club to continue to operate
as a private golf course and prohibits future development, including subdivision.
by selling only the development rights – not the property, Lulu is able
to continue using it, while enabling the Township to protect 115 acres at a
considerably lower cost than outright purchase of the land.
"off the table," as township manager Leonard
told me, I can’t think of any other motivation Upper Dublin Township might have to exercise its right of first
refusal.Unless, of course, Upper Dublin Township fancies taking
over LuLu CC for the purpose of running it as a
From my emails
and phone conversations with people in the know, I am not getting any sense
whatsoever that Upper Dublin Township
has any desire to get deeper into the golf course-owning and –running
business than it already is.(Upper
Dublin Township owns Twining Valley GC, which is leased and operated by the Riley family.)
Bottom line: I’m
not saying the LuLu CC sale to Hansen Properties is a sure thing.But if it falls through, I’d very
surprised if it is because of anything Upper
Dublin Township does.
I am not sure why UDT would want to hinder a sale to Hansen Properties. It only stands to protect their "investment" in preserving the open space easement that they sold. UDT didnít "bail" anybody out. The dollars spent from the Open Space Fund were used for their intended purpose, to preserve the open space. It seems to me that if the members of LuLu are looking for ways to help the Township keep a beautiful piece of land beautiful, it sounds like a no brainer, and I thank them for trying to keep Upper Dublin attractive. I say let Hansen help too.
[12/20/2010 10:41:55 AM]
UD Taxpayersí premise is false. For $2MM, the township received something very valuable, not "nothing" as purported. That "something" is 115 acres of open space in perpetuity. Had LuLu members sold the club for development, they would have received many times this consideration, but they preferred to preserve it forever for their golfing enjoyment rather than make a large profit & golf elsewhere.
Another UD Tax Payer
[12/18/2010 6:02:18 AM]
I agree with UD Tax Payer, except I think the township should take over LuLu and run it as a municipal course.
UD Tax Payer
[12/17/2010 5:34:08 PM]
The reason UD Taxpayers would want to exercise the option to claim the property is because they already paid $2.25 million dollars to bailout a country club and have nothing to show for it. The taxpayers should demand the township take it over and open it up as a public park. At least theyíd then have something to show for their hard earned money.
[11/30/2010 11:17:36 AM]
The school is school property, not for general public use. There is no place for the residents (who have complained about not having usable open space within walking distance), which include me, to enjoy public open space without driving to it.
[11/29/2010 12:36:29 PM]
Are you aware that, unlike most places in UD, there is no public open space near the homes near Lulu to which families can walk? Another open space recommendation is to make sure there is public open space within 1/4 mile of all homes in UD. I am not saying the Board will purchase Lulu. This comment is just in response to your statement, "What I canít figure out is what motivation the township might have to nix the deal and buy LuLu."
If you’re a fan of the PGA Radio Network on XM/Sirius (Channel 146 on XM, 209 on Sirius), the
news is not good.
In his weekly Up & Down column at CBSSports.com,
reports that the network will likely be a goner in 2011.A source tells Elling that the PGA Tour has been getting $4 million a
year for the radio rights, and that "the folks running XM/Sirius aren’t much interested in continuing beyond this year."
Besides the rights fees, XM/Sirius is also on the hook for the
salaries of their hosts and the folks do the live broadcasts from tournaments
each week, not to mention the expense of keeping them on the road.
Alas, if Elling is correct, we too will
miss the morning chat shows on the network, especially Making the Turn with Peter
Kessler, where I am a semi-regular guest.
The best I can do for an
update on the reported closing of Island Green CC is that I am still waiting for a an official conformation, denial or
explanation from one of the owners.
One of the owners did call
while I was out, but he offered no details and didn’t leave a contact
number.So far, I still haven’t
reached him, despite two more requests via Island
Green general manager Scott Burek.
which opened in 2001 on site of the old Budd
Co. railcar plant, was reported to be closing in a recent item in
the business section of the Inquirer.The newspaper said golf course would
close to make way for a new distribution facility for Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.Inquirer course review.
Soon after the item
that the closure was news to him and said he was still booking outings for next
year.Burek said the owners –
contractor John Parsons and four
other contractors – had assured him Island
Green had not been sold.
Still, others in the local
golf community also report having heard rumors in recent months that the course
was going to be sold, although those rumors remain sketchy and unconfirmed.
When I called Burek again a
day ago, he reiterated what he said he is being told by the owners: "We are not
said that he has been at Island Green
for three years, since Nov. 2007, and that each year he has heard rumors that
the course has been sold or is going to be sold.So far, he pointed out, none have turned
out to be true.
As for this time around, Burek is once
again shrugging off the rumors as he continues to book outings for next year.
"There are no conversations
(about selling or closing) that I am aware of," said Burek."But they (owners) don’t need to involve
me in that stuff, anyway.I don’t
know what is going on or even if it is for sale.All I know is what they tell me, which
is that we are not sold."
ask a real tough ? when is the driving range going to open
The Muni Golfer
[11/16/2010 7:05:34 AM]
Say it isnít so! Letís hope it remains just that...rumor!
[11/11/2010 6:26:54 AM]
I hope the rumors are untrue. Island Green is a nice course that is close by. Being in the city it seems that you have to drive forever to find good courses to play. Not to mention they have a nice clubhouse with an outstanding kitchen and bar. If it does close at least some well paying jobs would be created.
For anyone who clicks on the
icon on the home page in search of discounted tee times, you might have noticed
a change recently.
As of Nov. 1, MyPhillyGolf went from being an "area specific" search engine for
discounted tee times – i.e. discounts at participating Philadelphia-area
courses -- to a "national" booking
If you take golf trips or
simply take your clubs along when you travel, now you can book discounted tees
through MyPhillyGolf and Golfnow.com in such golf
destinations as Myrtle Beach, S.C.,
Pinehurst, N.C., Scottsdale, Ariz., Orlando, Fla., and Palm Springs, Calif.
linked up with Golfnow.,com,
which is owned by the Golf Channel,
a year ago, just as it was branching out into the Philadelphia market.The list of participating courses it
offers in the region has gradually begun to expand.Now, as we go "national," the destinations and choices have become mind-boggling.
I’m getting a ton of emails
about Island Green CC, or more
specifically, the item in
the Inquirer last Friday that
reported that the course is closing.
Here’s what I know:
A week ago, a story in the
business section of the Inquirer
Pharmaceuticals USA plans to build a new distribution facility in the Bustleton neighborhood, potentially employing 500 people.
The bad news for golfers is
that the item said the new distribution center will go on the 136 acre site
once occupied by the Budd Co.
railcar division, which since 2001 has been the site of a popular daily fee
course, Island Green CC.Inquirer review. Bausch
Collection photo gallery.
When I called Island Green CC general manager Scott Burek
to get details about the closure, he told me that it was news to him.He said he hadn’t talked to anybody from
the Inquirer, nor had he heard
anything from his bosses -- i.e. the owners -- that any sale was a done deal or
that that the course was closing.In fact, Burek
said, he was still booking outings for next season.
When I pressed Burek for
details or some kind of explanation of what is going on, he said he would have
one of the owners get back to me.That was three days ago.Since then, Burek and I have
been trading emails and phone messages about who will talk to me and when.
Truth is, I don’t know what
is going on.I don’t know if the Inquirer story is premature or flat out
wrong. Clearly, some kind of discussions or negotiations are going on behind
the scenes.I do know that in Burek’s last
email to me this afternoon, he said their position is that Island Green has not been sold.
swears that the Island Green owners
will fill me in as soon as possible.When I find out, I will pass it along.
Working with right hand man Jim Wagner, Hanse seems to get better with each new project.Meanwhile, on the business side, Hanse has kept his firm small; at a
time when most big-name architects are laying off staff or shuttering their
business altogether, Hanse is busy.
Along with Tom
Doak and the design team of Ben
Crenshaw and Bill Coore, Hanse is the object of respect
bordering on hero worship on the website GolfClubAtlas.com,
frequented by architecture enthusiasts. GCA Hanse
The reason is that Hanse is seen as not only enormously talented but as a purist and
minimalist when it comes to design.Indeed, he is all three.He also
happens to be one of the nicest guys in golf.
Hanse seems to raise the bar with
each new course.Three weeks ago, I
and several other course raters for Golfweek
were invited to play Boston Golf Club,
a Hanse and Wagner project that opened in 2005.
I expected it to be good; it is after all
ranked 36th on Golfweek’s
list of Best
Modern Courses.But I had no
idea.I was blown away.I’d put Boston Golf Club in my list of Top
10 courses I’ve ever played.
"This is what Gil can do when he gets a good piece of land," said another rater.
True, and with each new success, Hanse is going to get better and better
property and projects.