Mickelson's bid to buy Calif. course falls through

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Phil Mickelson's portfolio as a golf course owner will not expand to include Fairbanks Ranch Country Club.

Earlier this year, Mickelson teamed with longtime friend and agent Steve Loy and Doug Manchester, the publisher of the U-T San Diego, to buy the course in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., from its nearly 400 members. According to a Golf Digest report, that attempt has fallen through over the purchasing group's desire to negotiate a new lease for the land from the city of San Diego.

"They (the Mickelson group) were very respectful, but said that at the end of the day a longer lease was something they had to get," said Jeff Woolson, managing director of the golf and resort group for CBRE, the broker in the transaction. "The board said, 'We appreciate and understand it, but that's been off the table from the very beginning.' They didn't want to go down that path."

Mickelson, Loy and Manchester got into the course ownership business three years ago, when the trio purchased four private courses in Arizona. They recently added a fifth course near Tucson, Ariz. Their purchase of Fairbanks Ranch was first reported in August and reportedly hinged on member approval in a vote that occurred last month.

According to the report, another buyer is in line to purchase Fairbanks Ranch in a deal that Woolson describes as "very close."