CEO Charles Cox called it "a thoughtful strategy that will allow the network to remain competitive and produce engaging content while growing the golf lifestyle," in a statement provided the Hartford Business Journal.
Meanwhile, the network is suing its former CEO Jamie Bosworth, according to the Hartford Courant, which reported that he "expressed doubts about the company's ability to succeed to investors and potential investors while he was leading the company -- and continued doing so after he left, the company says in a Superior Court lawsuit against him."
The suit claims that the network sent him a cease-and-desist letter in October, but that "he continued to criticize the company's management and programming," the Courant reported.
Ten days ago, the Courant reported that the network had "delayed payroll payments to some employees last week but made the payments on Friday and remains on track in its growth strategy, a company official said."
The pertinent numbers:
— Rounds per day open were up 1.4 percent year-to-date through November, 2014.
— Golf fee revenue per day open was up 2.2 percent year-to-date.
— Merchandise revenue per day open was up 2.6 percent year-to-date.
— Thirty-three states showed growth in rounds played per day open.
“The key metric is on a per day open basis. It’s an adjustment based on weather,” Mike Hughes, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association said. “The good news is that people are playing golf and spending money when the weather permits, but the weather is crap.”
The PGA PerformanceTrak, produced in cooperation with the NGCOA, continued to show that 2014 had the fewest days open in the past nine years.
“But the good news is more important,” Hughes said, explaining that “contrary to the constant drumbeat of negative comments,” the health of the game has improved over a year ago.
“Like any other discretionary income category,” he said, “as the economy continues to improve golfers will spend more money. As I tell people, golf is not racquetball. Golf has been around 400 years. There’s a reason for that. It has a particular attraction. That’s a great quality.”
Was it another sign of waning interest in golf, that this resort that ranked as high as 32nd in Golf Digest’s Top 75 Resorts in America could not meet its debt obligations?
Not so fast, says its general manager Barry Owens.
“I started here in the fall of 2010,” Owens said on Tuesday. “In 2010, Treetops did 48,000 rounds on five golf courses. It was mind-boggling to me.
“In 2013, we did 96,000 rounds of golf. The growth was crazy. And it was very much across the board, things like food and beverage, merchandise sales and those types of things. They shot up dramatically. From 2010 to 2014, when we see this year completed, revenue will be up over 80 percent.”
The Detroit News reported that before debt payments Treetops lost $467,000 in 2010 but turned a profit of $1.2 million in 2013. During those years, room stays increased from 21,000 nights to 34,300 nights. In 2014, rounds totaled nearly 90,000.
Owens said the downturn in the economy in 2007 and 2008 was a contributing factor, but so were issues pertaining to marketing and mismanagement.
“When you hear that someone has gone through a reorganization through Chapter 11 you usually think a bank is involved,” Owens said. “There is no bank involved.”
Owens explained that the group of men who purchased Treetops in 2002 “had some challenging operating results” through 2010.
“During that entire period they operated at a negative cash flow, necessitating these guys to continue to make these contributions that added up to north of $25 million in mortgages,” he said. “These mortgages haven’t had any payments on them in 10 years, so the property has been unable to support that volume of debt. Basically they’re bankrupting themselves.
“For lack of a better term, I’ll call it legacy debt. When they first started here, our owners were frustrated with their investment. We’re fortunate that they’re all well off enough to keep it afloat through challenging times. Back in 2010, they were at wit’s end. But since the start of 2011, they haven’t had to put anything in and they’re excited about that. Now they see the potential.
“This is going to position us to make improvements, to add amenities, to start a real estate program. We don’t use the B word. We use reorganization, and we’re real excited about it. It’s a way to convert debt to equity.”
Meghan Tarmey went on Friday's episode to pitch her business, The Caddy Girls, which she started while she was still a cheerleader at Costal Carolina University in 2005. As you can probably gather from the name, it's a group of female caddies that golfers can hire to make their rounds more entertaining.
Tarmey came on the show asking for $100,000 for a 20-percent stake in her company. However, she did not walk away with a deal, getting turned down and then turning down a $100,000 counter offer for half of her business. Here's the clip:
It wasn't all bad, though. Tarmey was praised by the Sharks, even by the show's tough guy, Kevin O'Leary, for her pitch. And the appearance on the show has already sparked a lot of interest in her company. Tarmey told Myrtlebeachonline.com she had received about 50 independent investment offers by noon on Saturday.
“Me being a golfer, I try to incorporate that into anything I do work-related,” Scott Edwards said. “So I proposed the idea and it got accepted.”
The idea has come to fruition with the launch of the Florida Historic Golf Trail, 50 publicly accessible courses built before 1946 and stretching from Pensacola on the Florida panhandle (A.C. Read Golf Course and Osceola Municipal Golf Course) to Key West at the southern tip of the state (Key West Golf Club).
“We wanted to make sure all the courses are open to the public, that anybody could walk up and play any time,” Edwards said. “We chose the time frame from the turn of the century through World War II because that was a big part of Florida’s development and its national development.”
The objective, Edwards said, “is to promote these historic golf courses, but also telling Florida history through these golf courses.”
Arnold Palmer, who resides part of the year in Orlando, was enlisted to do a commercial for the project. Jack Nicklaus, a North Palm Beach resident, also provided an endorsement. “As a proud Floridian for close to 50 years, I know the state of Florida has its own storied history in our game,” he said. “The Florida Historic Golf Trail included important chapters to our golf story.”
A potential incidental benefit is bringing new players into the game, Edwards said. “That’s what the golf industry people have latched onto, that it’s a new way to grow the game. And if you’re a golfer and have been around the game, you love the history, and this is a great source of history.”
A scorecard has been developed, allowing players setting out to play all 50 to check off the courses they’ve played and input a score.
“Groups of people already want to go out and start playing these,” Edwards said. “It’s gone beyond what I thought it would. That’s what we want. We hope it drives tourism for them and get exposure they’ve never had.”
The beautiful 3,700-square-foot home has four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, a pool with a hot tub and a sweet looking entertainment room (If that pool table comes with the house, then the buyer is really getting a steal). Check out the video tour that includes soothing music that could have been taken straight from the "Friday Night Lights" soundtrack:
Tiger Woods has lost his No. 1 ranking in another category.
On Tuesday, Forbes Magazine released its list of the world's most valuable sports brands and Woods slipped to No. 2 -- the first time he hasn't been No. 1 since 2007. LeBron James replaced Woods in the top spot with his brand valued at $37 million to Woods' $36 million.
This list is different from Forbes' ranking of highest-paid athletes. Woods fell to No. 6 on that list earlier this year (Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is No. 1) after holding the top spot from 2001 to 2011 and again in 2013. In the list Forbes released Tuesday, the magazine tries to evaluate how much a player's brand is worth by calculating how much more he makes off the court than the average of the top 10 in his sport.
While James' value increased $10 million in the past year, Woods' went down that amount, thanks in large part to the end of a 14-year relationship with EA Sports. Roger Federer ($32 million) is ranked No. 3 and Phil Mickelson ($29 million) takes the fourth spot.
Forbes ranked the top 10 brand values in four categories: businesses, events, teams and athletes. Woods' biggest endorsor, Nike, is the world's most valuable sports-business brand at $19 billion.
James, like Woods, is a fellow Nike pitchman. He also happens to share a birthday (Dec. 30) with the 14-time major champion, although James is nine years younger. When they exchange gifts this year, we now expect LeBron to splurge more.