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Posted on October 8, 2015
Tallahassee Reports has learned that a group of Killearn Country Club members have put together a detailed plan to purchase the club from the current owner, Barton Tuck.
The legal wrangling over the direction of the Killearn Country Club began when Mr. Tuck decided that he needed to close the north nine holes of the 27 hole golf course to keep the course financially viable.
His plan, as detailed in meetings with members, is to sell part of the nine holes to a developer and use the proceeds to improve the club.
However, unique language in the deed restrictions associated with the club property, require that if any part of the 27 hole golf course is closed, club members have the right to purchase the club.
In September Mr. Tuck acknowledged that the member purchase language had been triggered and a group of members have come forward to purchase the club.
Not surprisingly, Mr Tuck and the group seeking to purchase the club interpret the covenant restrictions in different ways and this is where the legal system enters the fray.
As the legal process proceeds, the group of members interested in purchasing the club have released documents that provide details about how they plan to move forward with the purchase.
The group interested in buying the club is led by Patrick Murray. Mr. Murray has been a member of the club for about 10 years and has served on the Advisory Board for approximately five years. He owns a home on the fifth hole of the North course.
In a printed bio that he presented recently to a group of club members, he wrote “I’ve managed large organizations, much larger than Killearn Country Club (annual budgets over $50 million). I know how business must manage, income, expenses, balance sheets, customers, product quality and reinvestment in order to survive.”
Mr. Murray told TR that their plan is to purchase the county club with cash, establish a covenant to protect the 27 hole facility, and then interview and hire a golf club management company.
Mr. Murray said the group does not want to operate the country club. Their goal is to protect homeowners and preserve a 27 hole golf course.
The group plans to recruit a management company that will provide an operation plan to take over day-to-day management and fund the needed improvements of the club facilities.
The group provided TR architectural drawings of a new three story club house facility that will house golf carts, the pro-shop, locker rooms, an exercise room and a dining facility.
The front of the proposed club house, shown above, would have a porch on the second and third floor that would face the 18th hole.
Where does the process go from here?
Given the competing interpretations of the covenant restriction language, nothing will be settled until the court provides direction and that could take months.
However, recent meetings indicate the Mr. Tuck is moving forward with his own legal interpretation. TR will have more on the legal process in the near future.