Oakmont News Staff Report
The Oakmont Village Association (OVA) has announced a lease agreement with CourseCo, a Petaluma-based golf club operator. The 10-year lease, featuring multiple possible extensions, replaces the temporary management agreement with CourseCo. The new complex will be named Valley of the Moon Club.
CourseCo operates, either via lease agreement or management contract, 38 other golf clubs. Most of these golf clubs are in California and many are in the Bay Area.
CourseCo President Mike Sharp said is a statement: “CourseCo is thrilled to be the new stewards of the beautiful golf courses
and restaurant which are at the heart of Oakmont and of great value and importance to community residents and visitors. Much work is underway and still more is planned. This will be a unique setting for golf and social gatherings that we hope and expect will bring pride to the community and the wine country. We are honored and excited for the opportunity to lead the renaissance of Valley of the Moon.”
OVA Board President Steve Spanier said: “We’re delighted to be entering a long-term partnership with CourseCo, a management company that has never had a contract canceled or fail to renew and has steadily built its portfolio of golf clubs since the 1980s. The remarkable turnaround they engineered at the Foxtail 36-hole golf club in Rohnert Park testifies to CourseCo’s long-term dedication to its projects. We are especially pleased that this agreement keeps us within the golf course financial projections and budgets we had previously established for 2020 and beyond. OVA looks forward to a long and productive relationship with this Sonoma County-based company.”
As part of the lease agreement, CourseCo agrees to spend one million dollars on club improvements in the first three years of the contract. As much work has already been done on the former Quail Inn and West Course pro shop, and because the improvement of golf course conditions will be impossible without more and better functioning equipment, CourseCo plans to prioritize the acquisition of golf course maintenance equipment. As part of its lease proposal, CourseCo prepared an agronomy plan that included fertilizer and other chemicals and application plans, aeration plans, over-seeding plans, equipment maintenance plans, pond and waterway maintenance and other information.
Within the first year of the new lease, through discounted services, CourseCo also promises to make Oakmont golfers whole who have outstanding credit remaining from AGPs short operating tenure. More information on this will be forthcoming soon.
In winning the bid to operate Oakmont’s golf courses and other facilities, CourseCo offered the best response to a variety of questions. Bidders were required to submit a redlined version of a straw man lease proposal generated by the board and its attorneys, detailed financial forecasts, union plans, water supply augmentation plans, revenue and profit growth at the most recent five clubs added to their portfolios, a list of key personnel to be assigned to the club, plans for social membership benefits associated with the restaurant (including special dining events, banquet possibilities, special menu offerings, etc.) and other information. CourseCo’s sample schedule of events will be provided soon to Oakmont members.
Should CourseCo transform the club to the point where revenue or profit goals are exceeded, a stepwise reduction in OVA’s dues contribution will occur. For every two dollars of average yearly revenue generated over a set threshold for any three-year period, the total yearly OVA contribution will be reduced by one dollar. A similar reduction occurs based on CourseCo reaching certain profit goals over a two-year period.
The lease also includes a substantial penalty should CourseCo default on the lease. Further, should CourseCo not keep the facility up to the standard of four reference clubs in the area, it will be in contract default, at which point OVA will have various remedies available to it. CourseCo is also contractually required to supply or generate sufficient working capital to satisfy all contractual obligations.
For former Oakmont Golf Club and AGP members, the same legacy member bill of rights that was part of the AGP lease will be part of the new CourseCo lease. However, an additional benefit for CourseCo members will be discounted green fees (20% off Monday through Thursday and 10% off Friday through Sunday) at other CourseCo-operated courses, including Foxtail (Rohnert Park), Napa Golf Course (Napa), Crystal Springs Golf Course (Burlingame), Laguna Seca Golf Ranch (Monterey), Pacific Grove Golf Links (Pacific Grove) and others.
A company deeply concerned with sustainable, green operations, CourseCo is a member of the Wildlife Habitat Council and Audubon International. Its stated goals are to lead in environmental management by continuously building knowledge and developing innovative practices and to achieve sustainable management of the properties in their care for the benefit of the natural environment, the community and the owner.