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TPC Prestancia – Article in todays Herald Tribune

California company to buy TPC Prestancia
The firm will manage the courses under the TPC brand
By STEPHEN FRATER and KEVIN MCQUAID

SARASOTA — California-based Heritage Golf Group Inc. intends to buy the 565-acre TPC at Prestancia golf courses this summer as part of a four-course deal with the PGA Tour.

Under terms of a “strategic alliance,” Heritage will manage the 36-hole Prestancia, in Palmer Ranch off Beneva Road in Sarasota County, but it will continue to operate under the TPC brand.

The sale is expected to close by July 1. In all, there are 22 Tournament Player Club courses that are owned by a PGA Tour subsidiary nationwide.

Prestancia becomes the latest in a series of regional courses to trade hands or be offered for sale in recent years, the result of higher property taxes and rising maintenance costs.

Area courses are also desirable because of their potential for residential development.
In addition to Prestancia, a members-only club that opened in 1985, Heritage is acquiring the TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs; TPC Michigan in Dearborn, Mich.; and the TPC Piper Glen in Charlotte, N.C.

Terms were not disclosed.”By harnessing the natural synergies between our companies, we can deliver a better, more valuable golf experience for our collective members and guests,” David Pillsbury, president of PGA Tour Golf Course Properties, said in a statement.

Heritage, an eight-year-old firm led by Bob Husband, a former PGA Tour player, owns 16 private and resort courses in California, Texas, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.

Pillsbury ultimately envisions a network of more than 40 affiliated clubs, all of which share similar quality and service standards.

The Prestancia sale is expected to provide members more access privileges “that will add value to their memberships,” according to a Heritage statement.

Prestancia’s roughly 650 members pay $4,692 to $7,224 in annual dues. Memberships range from $8,000 to $45,000.

In addition to its two courses, which were designed by Robert Von Hagge with PGA Tour player Bruce Devlin and noted course architect Ron Garl, Prestancia also has a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse that offers dining and meeting facilities.

The courses also are certified as Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuaries, which use less pesticide and other eco-friendly maintenance techniques.

Since opening, Prestancia has hosted thirteen PGA Tour senior events, including eight Chrysler Cup Tournaments and five American Express Invitationals. Another senior tour stop, sponsored by Orlando-based Liquidgolf.com, ended in 2000.

The region has seen a series of golf deals in recent months.

Last fall, the New York-based owner of the Serenoa Golf Club put its 18-hole course on the market as part of a corporate liquidation. United Golf LLC bought that 17-year-old course in April 1997 for $7.02 million, property records show.

In July 2006, Foxfire Golf Course sold for $3.6 million to a local investment team interested in the land for residential development.

Smaller clubs, such as the 113-acre Sunrise Golf Club and the 46-acre Heather Mills course in Manatee County, also have been targeted for redevelopment as residential projects.

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