Heritage Golf Group, one of the fastest growing management companies in the country and the most active buyer, has acquired two more properties. The Club at Savannah Quarters in Georgia and Grande Dunes Members Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., bring the total number of courses under Heritage’s purview to 25.
This story was first reported by Golf Inc. magazine.
Heritage specializes in private country clubs and high-end daily-fee courses and the two new acquisitions fight right into their wheelhouse. Mark Burnett, CEO of Heritage Golf Group, said both clubs are right in the middle of large real estate developments that have plenty of opportunity for growth.
Myrtle Beach is especially ripe, and with not a lot of competition on the private club front, they’re uniquely positioned to provide a great facility for members.
“It’s a great retirement market,” Burnett said. “There are more and more things for people to do and the cost of living is great compared to some of the markets down in Florida.”
He said he is also excited that both are in large real estate developments.
“The club can be the centerpiece of the community,” he said. “We’re really pleased to be part of these and help take them to the next level.”
Savannah Quarters has an 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman that features six sets of tees to accommodate all skill levels, as well as a signature 15th hole with a unique island green tucked into the local flora in a lagoon. The club also has an aquatics and fitness center that Burnett said is one of the top facilities in their entire portfolio.
Grande Dunes features a par-71 golf course designed by PGA Hall of Fame Inductee Nick Price and architect Craig Schreiner that was renovated in 2019. The 25,000-square-foot clubhouse overlooks the 9th and 18th holes and offers multiple dining options, as well as serving as a venue for weddings, corporate retreats, and more.
Since acquiring the Heritage name in 2020, Burnett and his current team have grown from six clubs to 25. While the company has been largely focused on the East Coast (with some pockets of clubs in New England and the Midwest), Burnett said the company is looking to expand its reach farther west. The plan is to be opportunistic about acquisitions, only making deals when it makes sense.
Heritage will soon allow members to have access to any other club in the Heritage network. Burnett said that it will allow members in the new year to visit clubs while on vacation or while spending the winter in warmer climates.
“One of our goals was to expand and acquire enough clubs [so that] this network product can start really making sense,” he said. “It’s a way to give extra value to the members; it’s a good competitor differentiator. It differentiates against the individual competitors around us, and that you’re more than just a member of your club. You can be a member of the entire Heritage family of clubs.”
Burnett is positive about the overall state of the industry, especially post-pandemic, and the impact of golf entertainment. Anything that will get more people looking at golf and thinking about swinging a club is a good thing.
“That’s a chance we’re able to get them ultimately into a core user,” he said. “There’s some really good cool technology out there that we can combine social F&B and bar experiences around really fun golf games, and I think you’re starting to see that across the country more and more. I think the game is in great hands.”