News & ToursMarch 25, 2014

Are Chinese investors the future of American golf?

__By Peter Finch __

It's no secret wealthy Chinese have been pouring money into the U.S. lately. Chinese companies invested $14 billion in businesses here last year alone, double 2012's level, according to a report by New York's Rhodium Group.

____[#image: /photos/55ad785dadd713143b428c39]|||blog-chinese-470.jpg|||

Real estate is of special interest, and because many golf courses qualify as "distressed" real estate, don't be surprised if more of them wind up in Chinese hands.__


A pair of investors from China have recently bought properties in that most American of golf destinations, Myrtle Beach. Alan Blondin of the Myrtle Beach Sun News reports on the latest: developer Shengwen Lan's purchase of Crown Park Golf Club (pictured), which went for $1.5 million and the assumption of some leases that value the total deal at around $2 million.

It appears Lan got his first taste of Myrtle Beach at last year's World Amateur Handicap Championship, when he was among a group of several Chinese players that participated. Sporting a 9 handicap, he posted gross scores of 98, 91, 93 and 89.

The Crown Park deal follows last summer's purchase of the Sea Trail Golf Resort, bought by a Chinese businessman known as "Mr. Pan." It sold for $8.5 million. All three Sea Trail courses are on our list of the 60 best in Myrtle Beach.

Quasi-related story: The New York Times reported last year on a Chinese investor's strange plan to build a golf resort in ... Iceland.

Follow @Pete_Finch