The 18-hole public-residential facility, located the Charlotte, N.C., suburbs, signed a comprehensive, five-year operations contract with LMC in August. It is one of eight separate properties to sign operations agreements with Landscapes Management Co. in 2018, according to LMC President Tom Everett.
Larkin GC opened in 1996 as Fox Den County Club, a Clyde Johnston design that stood as the centerpiece of a residential community. Post-recession, in 2014, the property was purchased as part of a foreclosure action and renamed Larkin Golf Club. In 2017, David Cuthbertson, CEO of Monroe, N.C.-based builder True Homes, purchased the development along with Stonebridge Golf Club, a public facility also located in Monroe. Cuthbertson promptly gifted both facilities to nearby Wingate University. In March 2018, the school contracted with Landscapes Management Co. to manage Stonebridge GC. In July, Wingate tapped LMC to operate Larkin GC, as well.
“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to manage both operations on behalf of the university,” Everett said. “While these are both excellent facilities, we nevertheless plan to increase programing, leverage economies of scale and engage in several important agronomic initiatives. Landscapes is obviously growing quickly in this market, which is good news for our clients there — the more properties we manage in a region, the more robust those economies of scale become. That is a direct path to better stability and profitability.”
Where LMC will manage these two Greater Charlotte properties in comprehensive, third-party fashion, another new client — the private Fredericksburg (Va.) Country Club — has chosen the Landscapes Select route. The Select program allows courses and clubs to choose from LMC management services on an a la carte basis, an innovation LMC introduced to the U.S. golf management industry in 2008.
“The Board in Fredericksburg was initially interested in assistance on the accounting side,” Everett said. “They were moving away from the on-site comptroller model and Select gives them the opportunity to leverage our centralized accounting services here in Lincoln. Like many Landscape Select clients, Fredericksburg also opted for our corporate-buying service, a program that boosts a club’s purchasing power at the stroke of a pen.”
Further west, LMC has announced three additional management contracts, all of them secured in 2018:
-- Landscapes assumed third-party management duties in January at three municipal facilities owned by the city of Sioux Falls, S.D. — Prairie Green Golf Course, Kuehn Park GC and Elmwood GC, representing 54 holes of golf.
-- An hour north of Sioux Falls, the private Brookings (S.D.) Country Club reached a management agreement with LMC in March. “That was pure word of mouth — the folks in Brookings were impressed by the presentation made to the City of Sioux Falls and thought perhaps we could be of help at their club as well. They signed on as a Select client in the spring,” Everett said. “Initially, Brookings brought us in to provide food & beverage consulting, but the club soon opted for our corporate-buying service, as well. We’re now talking about expanding the relationship further.”
-- In April, Dodge Riverside Golf Course, an 18-hole municipal facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa, also signed a five-year, comprehensive management contract with LMC.
Landscapes Unlimited started managing golf properties through its Landscapes Management Co. division in the late 1980s. LMC operates more than 50 different facilities, public and private, across the U.S., Canada and China.