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Merger makes National Golf Management a Myrtle Beach giant

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A merger of the two largest golf management companies in South Carolina has created a new major player in the golf industry that could have an impact beyond the Grand Strand.

The newly created National Golf Management -- a merger of Burroughs and Chapin Golf Management (formed in 1999) and the Myrtle Beach National Company (formed in 1971) -- now controls 23 of the 90 golf courses along the Grand Strand, a 60-mile coastal region stretching from North Carolina to Pawleys Island, S.C. NGM now ranks among the 15 largest golf management companies in the U.S.

Each of the merging companies will continue to own other entities in the golf and travel industry, including hotels and golf-package companies, as this merger only involves the courses.

'Our goal is to create an entity that will take advantage of the experience, marketing assets and the best practices of both companies,' National Golf Management president Bob Mauragas said in a statement.

Fifteen courses will be owned and operated by NGM. An additional eight Myrtle Beach-area courses will be operated by NGM, including Pine Lakes Country Club, King's North at Myrtle Beach National, the Grande Dunes Resort Course, Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club and Tidewater Golf Club.

Burroughs and Chapin, involved in Myrtle Beach real estate dating back nearly 100 years, will continue to operate its expansive residential and commercial developments.

Mauragas said the merger should create new golf packages that should be ready by fall.

'What it (the merger) really stands for is we are trying to find better ways to deliver the best experience for the customers,' he said. 'That comes from adding additional packages at fair prices. It gives customers a rotation of courses that they can do over five to six years. We can do exciting packages that align by geography. We are spread from the tip of North Carolina all the way to Pawleys Island.'

As the name suggests, National Golf Management could expand outside its current region. Mauragas said the business plan calls for adding two courses a year to the company's portfolio. But he added expansion will be 'slow and steady' and must be a good fit. He also noted that Myrtle Beach will remain the core and most important product.

'We would like to open doors along the coast from Canada to Florida,' he said.