National Golf Club would become part of Pinehurst Resort & Country Club before the historic U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in June under a tentative purchase agreement reached Friday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the preliminary agreement includes a 70-day due diligence period. The deal also requires approval by members and boards of both organizations.
“Our timing is amazing as the eyes of the golf world will soon be on Pinehurst,” Jay Biggs, senior vice president of golf and club operations at Pinehurst, said in an email sent Friday to members.
Biggs said the plan is to create a 36-hole private club “within a club.”
“It will be a premier club like no other in the country,” he said. “Our amenities will be second to none. We’re very excited about the concept.”
The proposed deal appears to be a marriage of private clubs going in different directions.
“We are all very proud to be part of National and its rich history as a fine golf club,” Claudia Robinette, president of National Golf Club Inc., said Friday in a similar email to members. “In recent years, though, it has been a challenge to maintain membership sales, which has led to a pattern of stagnant growth and reduced revenues.”
Pinehurst Country Club, on the other hand, has seen its member satisfaction levels climb to an all-time high, thanks in large part to a $4 million renovation of the main clubhouse and plans to build a $4 million swimming complex.
“We’re trying to create an unbelievable member experience,” Biggs said. “That’s our focus.”
If the deal is approved, Pinehurst would assume ownership and management of the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course at National, as well as its country club, while National Golf Club would retain the villas and residential lots.
Biggs said the deal presents “a great opportunity” for both National and Pinehurst.
“We just think it’s a win-win situation,” he said. “We’re very excited to add National Golf Club and its members to the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club family. National’s members soon will begin to enjoy all the amenities of Pinehurst Country Club, including the recently renovated clubhouse.”
Robinette noted that Pinehurst is “synonymous with the great legends of golf.”
“To be a part of one of the strongest brands in the industry will help National reach its full potential and create lasting value for the members and their property,” Robinette said. “We believe (the deal) will enhance the value of real estate within the club.”
Pinehurst Country Club has eight golf courses, including Pinehurst No. 2, where the golf championships will be played in back-to-back weeks at the same venue for the first time.
Biggs said the golf course at National may retain its identity, be renamed Pinehurst No. 9, or something else.
“We really haven’t thought much about that at this point,” he said. “That’s one of the things we’re working on through this due diligence period.”
The email to National members said plans call for:
- The golf course annual maintenance budget to be increased by $250,000;
- $1 million to be earmarked for a clubhouse renovation;
- The membership exchange fee to be $4,000 for full golf members and $3,000 for all other member categories.
The email to Pinehurst Country Club members noted that the additional benefits and privileges would be provided at no additional cost.
Both emails added that construction of a more direct access road between the two clubs will be explored.