Investment Group Plans to Save Albertville Golf Course

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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The Albertville golf course's future looks much greener.

Two months after city officials announced the Albertville Golf and Country Club was more than $1 million in debt, some members coordinated a group of investors to save the club.

Frank McDaniel is the leader of a about a dozen business people who formed an investment group called Big Spring Lake, LLC.  He spent 20 years in the Alabama House of Representatives, and Albertville City Council president Nathan Broadhurst said McDaniel is the perfect person to coordinate the takeover from within the club.

"Frank has got proven leadership obviously form his time in the legislature, he was actually very involved in the state park system and running golf courses for the state parks so he's got a lot of experience there and contacts there," Broadhurst said.
"They're doing it the right way, talking with professionals in the golf industry, working on improving the greens and fairways, and doing things the way they need to be done."

McDaniel said he and his fellow investors wanted to make sure the course didn't go away.

"We saw some things there that we considered a possible threat to things and felt like we needed to maybe take charge," he said.  "We've got a great layout of a course, but it's suffered from maintenance on the course and we're addressing that."

The investment group is immediately making about $200,000 of improvements, focusing mainly on the course's condition, but also installing new air conditioning units Wednesday.

Foreclosure on the course began Tuesday at the Marshall County Courthouse, and McDaniel said his group is currently in control of the note and will protect their interest in it through the bidding process in order to take full ownership June 4.

"We've got an aggressive plan and it's going to take time to do some of the things and we're going to need growth in membership and participation," McDaniel said.

"We've got a consultant working with us weekly now to show us the things that are necessary to get the course in shape, the greens, make everything more attractive, and more than anything, attractive to golfers to come out and play."

He said they plan to rename the course Big Spring Lake Golf Club, and although they intend to continue to have memberships, McDaniel said the course will be available for open play.  The investment group wants to offer more family events, and to start a junior golf program at the course in Summer 2014.

Council president Broadhurst said the city council and mayor were also concerned about the potential closure of the course as it serves as an asset to the city in several facets.

"A lot of industries when they're looking to locate somewhere ask about the type of recreational opportunities, golf being a primary one.  Normally management when they're trying to make deals with suppliers and things like that will use golf as a way to do that.  It's important to have that option available to our industries around here," Broadhurst said.

There was also concern failure could hurt property values nearby and across the city.  The council considered buying the course but Broadhurst said it was not financially feasible.

McDaniel hopes the improvements will prove the course's long term viability to the council, and said "the ultimate desire is that we would hope that the city would take a look at it for a municipal course at some point in the future."

Broadhurst said the city will help with the infrastructure or paving in the area if possible.

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