Fore Golf forms joint venture to acquire courses

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Manassas-based Fore Golf has formed a joint venture with a Dallas firm to acquire private country clubs and daily-fee golf courses throughout the U.S.

The Fore’s joint venture with HBT Golf LLC is called Fore Golf Partners, which has announced it first acquisition, Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater, Fla.

“We are in an unprecedented acquisition environment as club owners and lenders seek liquidity from these businesses,” said Tom Bennison, a partner in the joint venture,  “As a cash buyer familiar with most major U.S. markets and able to close expeditiously and without financing, we expect to see a lot of interesting opportunities.”

Others involved in the joint venture include Charlie Staples and Mike Miraglia, the owners of Fore Golf, which is the parent company of 13 courses in Florida, Northern Virginia, Maryland and Ohio. During a 40-year career, Staples has owned and operated 80 courses and clubs. Miraglia has 26 years in the golf business, 20 working with Charlie Staples and the last eight as an owner.
Bennison spent 27 years with ClubCorp USA, Inc., the last 17 of which he was senior vice president of business development.

HBT Golf investors include Dallas businessmen John Pigott and Bruce Leadbetter; Harold (Hank) Handelsman, counsel to the Pritzker family of Chicago for 35 years; and Christopher Bancroft, a former director of Dow Jones & Co.

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