Are Chinese investors the future of American golf?

March 25, 2014

__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.

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.