E.A. Sports Today

Club OK’s sale

Cherokee County CC stockholders strongly approve accepting the proposal of board member to buy the club

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

CENTRE – The stockholders of the Cherokee County Country Club voted Thursday night in near unanimous fashion to give its board approval to move forward with the sale of the semi-private club.

The stockholders voted 30-4 in favor of accepting a proposal from board vice president Scott Farrar to purchase the 110-acre property just south of town and keep it running as a golf course for at least the next 25 years.

“I’m very pleased with it,” Farrar said of the vote. “I wanted a very large consensus of support or I wasn’t interested in doing this, but I would say we got a really good majority who wants to do it.

“If the majority of people are on board, we’re going to hit the ground running and try to make some improvements on the course.”

Lorrie Perry, the club’s board president, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Farrar, who owns a land and timber business and lives on a 184-acre farm across the road from the course, felt so strongly about his “leap of faith” he said in his proposal he was prepared to resign his position on the board if the current structure remained. He has been on the board for five years.

“No one stepped forward to take the leap of faith but me and my wife and we decided to do it,” he said. “We have an 8-year-old son who is really, really good at golf and I think he’s got a chance to be really special at golf – a lot better than his daddy. Our thought process was if we’re going to live here and we’re going to have a golfer in the family, we want him to have a nice home course to play on, and we haven’t had that in a while.

“It got to the point to where I was just frustrated with it. Under the current structure, when you have a structure like a country club and you have shareholders, they have to agree to accept assessments and pay for projects that need to be done. Our stockholders are old and in the latter part of their lives and they don’t have money just to throw at a golf course. This was the only choice we had, I think.”

In his proposal Farrar said he would pay off the bank note, which will be approximately $271,500 at the time of close, which they’d like to be no later than Nov. 1. He’d assume the cart and equipment debt/lease, hire a full-time golf course superintendent “that is needed the most,” and a golf pro/pro shop manager.

Recently raised greens and cart fees would remain at current rates. Members who purchased a lifetime membership would be honored. Current active stockholders will receive a 10 percent discount on dues for the first year of the new ownership or reimbursed their $300 original stock purchase.

The new owners would be responsible for any changes and improvements. There are no plans to change the layout of the par-71 course, but the vision includes returning some current grass bunkers back to sand, “thinking seriously” about resurfacing the greens with TifEagle Bermuda grass and making improvements to the clubhouse and grille.

Farrar said in his proposal he would make a capital investment of at least $200,000 on improvements, with irrigation and greens the initial emphasis.

“We’re just going to improve it and get it up to date,” he said. “It just needs updating. Just like everything else out there it’s old and needs some attention.”

He said he wasn’t buying the course to make money, but rather to give the members a course they could be proud of and guests would be eager to play. 

“We just want a good golf course for our community. We haven’t had that in a while,” he said. “Our golf course is old and dilapidated. It’s a neat layout, a layout a lot of people love, and we just want to have good grass. We want to have good greens, and after we get the greens in really good shape, then we’ll focus on fairways and tees.”

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