ClubCorp has announced in a release the acquisition of Oak Tree Country Club, purchased for an undisclosed amount from Oak Tree Partners LLC, which has owned the property since 2004. The Oklahoman said in a story that the sale price was in excess of $10.4 million.
Dallas-based ClubCorp owns or operates more than 150 golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs, and alumni clubs in 24 states, the District of Columbia and two foreign countries, according to a company release.
ClubCorp properties include: Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio); Mission Hills Country Club (Rancho Mirage, California); Capital Club Beijing; and Metropolitan Club Chicago.
ClubCorp announced in the release that it would embark on a multimillion-dollar capital improvement project with extensive renovations and upgrades to the 65,000-square-foot clubhouse – including expanding casual dining and the addition of an outdoor dining area – and improvements to the golf, tennis, pool and fitness areas. Extensive renovations to the East and West courses at Oak Tree have been performed in the past four years.
Most of the pro shop staff and maintenance crew were retained in the transition, but not Director of Golf Mark Fuller, who was released May 23 after a brief meeting with ClubCorp representatives.
"They basically said they didn’t think I would be happy there and they were not going to extend an offer," Fuller said. Fuller said a total of eight country club employees were not offered employment with ClubCorp. He said he would like to remain in the golf business in the PGA South Central Section.
Superintendent Brent Shupe was retained. ClubCorp said that Devon Davenport will be the head golf professional.
"We are very excited about the addition of Oak Tree Country Club, nationally recognized as one of the preeminent clubs in Oklahoma, which gives us a presence in the state and increases our brand awareness nationwide," said Mark Burnett, ClubCorp executive vice president, golf and country club division, in the release. "The club will serve as a very nice complement to ClubCorp’s portfolio of clubs, providing yet one more venue for members of clubs in the ClubCorp family to visit and test their skills on two exceptional golf courses."
Jeff Bolding, managing partner of Oak Tree Partners, LLC, was quoted in the release as saying: "We are very pleased to sell one of the finest country clubs in the nation to such a first class group in ClubCorp, recognized across the country for excellent operations, member services and club amenities . . . Moving forward, we are enthused about both the future of the club and the Oak Tree community, which includes over 200 premium acres of undeveloped land."
Both the East and West course at Oak Tree Country Club were designed by Pete Dye, with the more difficult East Course opening in 1981 and the West Course in 1983. The East Course has been the site of the Oklahoma Open since 1986. Oak Tree has a strong junior program that has helped fuel Edmond North to nine consecutive Class 6A state championships.
"We absolutely support junior golf and the strength of the golf program at Oak Tree was one reason we were interested in the property," Burnett said. "The program is a great asset to the club and we will strive to keep the program as strong, if not stronger, moving forward. We would love for the club to continue serving as the site of the Oklahoma Open and many other regional and state junior golf events."
Oak Tree Country Club and Oak Tree National, while neighbors, are not jointly owned. Oak Tree National will be the site of the U.S. Senior Open Championship in 2014.