Golf, a sport often associated with tradition and exclusivity, occasionally surprises us with tales beyond the fairway.
Imagine a golf club, once a symbol of private ownership, now making headlines for a surprising transfer of authority.
In the heart of Statesville, Larkin Golf Club is undergoing a transformation that has raised eyebrows and curiosity alike.
Join us on this journey as we unravel the captivating story behind the change in ownership and the generous act that accompanies it.
Larkin Golf Club Ownership & The Unveiling of a Generous Gesture
In the world of golf, where competition is fierce and ownership is often shrouded in corporate mystery, the revelation that Larkin Golf Club is transitioning into the hands of Wingate University is nothing short of a plot twist.
David Cuthbertson, the current owner and CEO of Monroe-based builder True Homes, is orchestrating this donation, a philanthropic act valued at over $20 million, according to Iredell County tax records.
Cuthbertson, a man of few public words on the matter, is letting the action speak louder than any statement.
The transfer of ownership is set to be finalized next Tuesday, as confirmed by Wingate Vice President of Operations, Scott Hunsucker, in an exclusive conversation with the Record & Landmark.
A Seamless Transition
The question echoing in the minds of golf enthusiasts is, how will this change impact the everyday golfer?
Brent Frye, the golf and tournament manager at Larkin, assures us that little to no disruption is anticipated.
Plans for the donation surfaced in December of the previous year, and since then, the golfing community has been buzzing with speculation.
As the paperwork finalizes on Tuesday, the Larkin Golf Club is poised to seamlessly transition into a new era under the guardianship of Wingate University.
The anticipated continuity in operations promises that members and players will find the greens and fairways just as inviting, maintaining the club’s unique character.
A Pattern of Generosity
This isn’t the first time Wingate University has found itself on the receiving end of such a generous golfing legacy.
Stonebridge Golf Club in Monroe entered the university’s possession in January, valued at $8 million.
Though tight-lipped about the benefactor, the university took a strategic approach by forming a limited liability company to own and operate Stonebridge, ensuring a tailored and sustainable management structure.
The university’s pattern of receiving golf course donations reveals a commitment to preserving these recreational havens and leveraging them for the benefit of the academic community.
Behind the Scenes: Larkin Golf Club’s New Management
Enter Landscapes Management Company (LMC), a division of Landscapes Unlimited, makes waves as it welcomes Larkin Golf Club into its third-party management portfolio.
This 18-hole public-residential gem, nestled in the north Charlotte suburbs, inked a 5-year operations contract with LMC in August, joining seven other properties under LMC’s wing in 2018.
Tom Everett, the President of LMC, expressed enthusiasm about this addition, outlining plans to maintain and enhance the facility.
The LMC strategy involves increased programming, leveraging economies of scale, and engaging in agronomic initiatives to ensure the long-term health and vibrancy of Larkin Golf Club.
Larkin’s Journey: From Foreclosure to Donation
To understand the significance of this transition, we must rewind to the club’s inception in 1996 as Fox Den County Club, a stunning Clyde Johnston design that anchored a residential community.
Post-recession woes in 2014 led to the property’s acquisition through foreclosure, and thus, the rebirth as Larkin Golf Club.
In 2017, the development and Stonebridge Golf Club fell under the ownership of David Cuthbertson, the forward-thinking CEO of True Homes based in Monroe, N.C.
Cuthbertson’s swift and unprecedented act of gifting both facilities to Wingate University in 2017 was not merely a property transfer.
It was a visionary move, intertwining education, recreation, and community development in a single stroke.
The University’s Strategic Moves
Wingate University, based in Charlotte, strategically embraced the donated golfing havens.
The decision to gift both Larkin Golf Club, valued at an impressive $20 million, and Stonebridge Golf Club, marked a commitment to enriching campus life beyond the classroom.
Wingate’s approach extends beyond mere ownership, forming partnerships with Landscapes Management Company to ensure the operational finesse of these cherished recreational assets.
While specifics of the donation’s implications remain under wraps, this strategic alignment with Landscapes Management reveals a meticulous plan to elevate the golfing experience and the overall educational environment.
Landscapes Management’s Perspective
As we delve into the mechanics of this intriguing golfing narrative, insights from Tom Everett, President of Landscapes Management, shed light on the broader landscape.
“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to manage both operations on behalf of the university,” Everett remarked.
The company’s ambitious plans involve maintaining and enhancing Stonebridge and Larkin Golf Clubs.
With a commitment to increasing programming, leveraging economies of scale, and initiating crucial agronomic endeavors, Landscapes Management’s involvement extends beyond routine maintenance.
The rapid growth of Landscapes Management in this market signals a boon for the clients, as it translates to better stability and profitability for the managed properties.
The Ever-Growing Landscape: Landscapes Management’s Expanding Portfolio
Beyond the boundaries of Larkin Golf Club and Stonebridge, Landscapes Management Company has been making waves throughout 2018.
Their portfolio expansion includes adding Fredericksburg Country Club in Virginia, showcasing its versatility in offering a la carte management services under the Landscapes Select model.
This strategic growth isn’t confined to one region. Contracts with three municipal facilities in Sioux Falls, S.D. — Prairie Green Golf Course, Kuehn Park GC, and Elmwood GC — underline Landscapes Management’s commitment to diverse golfing landscapes.
The private Brookings Country Club, an hour north of Sioux Falls, joined the Landscapes family, proving that the company’s reputation extends beyond word of mouth.
In the tapestry of golfing narratives, the story of Larkin Golf Club’s ownership evolution stands out as a testament to generosity, strategic vision, and community engagement.
From its humble origins as Fox Den County Club to the recent donation to Wingate University, this golfing gem has weathered economic tides and emerged stronger, now embraced by an educational institution with a keen eye for holistic development.
As the ink dries on the paperwork finalizing this unique transition, we’re left with a glimpse into the future of golf facility management.
Wingate University, in tandem with Landscapes Management Company, not only preserves the legacy of Larkin Golf Club but propels it into a new era of growth and vibrancy.
In the ever-expanding landscape of golfing horizons, this narrative reminds us that a dynamic interplay of generosity, education, and strategic management exists beyond the swings and putts.
As the sun sets on Larkin Golf Club’s latest chapter, we look forward to witnessing the flourishing greens under the care of those who recognize golf as more than just a sport—it’s a bridge between community and excellence.