Two Moore County Golf Courses In 'Rough'; File For Bankruptcy
Posted June 16, 2004 5:48 a.m. EDT
MOORE COUNTY, N.C. — Moore County has more than 150 miles of golf courses with more than 720 holes. The sport pumps almost $280 million into the economy each year, but some clubs are losing money.
Golf is in full swing in Moore County. There are more than 40 courses to choose from, but two courses -- The Club at Longleaf and Hyland Hills Country Club -- filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Howard Ward, who writes about golf, said he watched the sport grow in Moore County. He said Hyland Hills averages 43,000 rounds of golf each year -- the most in the Pinehurst area.
"They had a lot of positive things going on over there and I was just absolutely shocked to see this happen to them," Ward said.
Some blame the ecomony, saying tourism still has not rebounded from the events of 9/11. Others say it is the number of golf courses. Moore County has more than one hole for every 100 residents. Some argue that kind of saturation can hurt businesses like Longleaf and Hyland Hills.
"They hung on and hung on and hung on and even though it's turning around, it wasn't quite soon enough," Ward said. "The debt load has grown a little too large, I think, for some of them."
Under Chapter 11, the two clubs plan to stay open and re-organize. When it comes to tourism, Moore County is ranked ninth out of 100 counties in the state.