Raleigh investors buy Grande Dunes golf course in Myrtle Beach

Posted by John Murawski on December 25, 2013 

Raleigh golf club investors have significantly expanded their resort holdings in the Southeast through the acquisition of Grande Dunes, 2,200-acre oceanfront resort in Myrtle Beach.

The deal for LStar Management and McConnell Golf includes an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, restaurant, tennis courts, a 131-slip marina and other amenities.

LStar, a real estate investment firm, purchased the property. McConnell, a golf club investment firm, will manage the facilities. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition represents the first foray into golf club management for 10-year-old McConnell Golf, which was founded by millionaire entrepreneur John McConnell.

McConnell Golf’s portfolio covers 153 holes at eight courses, including Raleigh Country Club, Treyburn Country Club in Durham and Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, among others. It includes world-class courses designed by golf celebrities such as Donald Ross, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and Hale Irwin.

The Grande Dunes real-estate package includes 770 acres of vacant land suitable for future residential or commercial project development by LStar on the Intracoastal Waterway.

In the wake of the economic recession, McConnell Golf had planned to close its Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C., but was able to salvage the project through a restructuring that included slashing membership fees from $4,000 to $1,200.

John McConnell made his fortune as co-founder and CEO of publicly traded Medic Computer, netting more than $60 million when the business was sold in 1997. He hit his second jackpot as an investor and CEO of A4 Health Systems, which fetched $272 million when it was sold in 2006.

McConnell became a golfing investor in 2003 when he acquired the Raleigh Country Club after it filed for bankruptcy.

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