Golf courses draw interest from distressed asset players

|By:, SA News Editor

Owners of Newcastle Investment (NCT) will want to read this NYT article on the latest hot distressed asset play: Golf courses. “It’s certainly a buyer’s market,” says Larry Hirsh of Golf Property Analysts. “There are a lot of distressed courses, financing is difficult and most buyers don’t have the ability to write a check.”

Imagine, says one industry player, Wells Fargo and Chase suddenly exiting the home mortgage market, and that's what it's like for golf course financing. This leaves opportunity for other investors, including Fortress Investment Group (FIG) which last year began financing a Dallas-based P-E firm looking into golf courses. Fortress' Co-Chairman Wes Edens is also the chairman at Newcastle which - following the spinoff of its seniors housing unit - will be nearly a pure-play golf course operator.