Country clubs break up in Chesterfield

The 17th hole at Meadowbrook Country Club. (Photos by Michael Schwartz)

Meadowbrook Country Club and another course nearby are ending a 2013 merger. Photo by Michael Schwartz.

The marriage of two local golf courses has come to an end less than two years after it was consummated.

Lake Chesdin Golf Club and Meadowbrook Country Club, two Southside clubs that merged with high hopes in the spring of 2013, are dissolving the relationship and going their separate ways.

The two clubs, which sit about 20 miles apart in Chesterfield County, will go back to operating independently beginning Nov. 1. The split was announced in a letter sent Oct. 2 by Meadowbrook President Chad Knowles to members of the Chesdin board.

“It is after lengthy deliberation and with deep regret that I write to inform you of our decision to sever the alliance between Meadowbrook Country Club and Chesdin Landing,” Knowles said in the letter.

The two clubs came together in March 2013, when about 50 investors made up largely of members of both sides formed an LLC to buy Lake Chesdin. The purchase created a multi-location country club that could better compete in the crowded Southside country club scene.

The logic behind the deal was that having two clubs in one should help attract members for both locations from the surrounding suburban Chesterfield developments. And the clubs could consolidate overlapping expenses and share personnel and resources.

A tee box at Meadowbrook. (photo courtesy of Meadowbrook Country Club)

Members will have to pick which club they want to stick with. Photo courtesy of Meadowbrook Country Club.

The resulting Meadowbrook-Chesdin LLC paid $1.2 million to acquire the 200-acre Chesdin property, according to Chesterfield County records. It bought the course from Canada-based golf course operator ClubLink.

Meadowbrook Country Club owned much of the stock of that LLC. ClubLink retained an equity stake in new LLC.

Tim White, club pro and general manager at Lake Chesdin, said the club would not comment on the split with Meadowbrook, other than to say it would begin operating on its own Nov. 1.

Meadowbrook General Manager Eric Papendorp would not comment on the situation.

Knowles’ letter suggests money was a driving factor in the end of the short-lived relationship.

“Upon entering into this alliance our board made a promise to our membership that the alliance would not damage MCC or cost our members any out-of-pocket expense.

“The recent request from the Chesdin board to have MCC continue to provide accounting services with no expectation of payment, combined with the declaration that Chesdin would no longer pay shared costs, forces us to make this decision in order to uphold our promise to our members.”

The letter, obtained by Richmond BizSense, suggests there won’t be any quibbling over the golf course properties. It states that Meadowbrook would agree to turn over all shares in the LLC to allow Chesdin to have control over its property.

Members of both sides were given a choice of which club they want to stay with going forward, according to the letter.

Lake Chesdin opened in 1998 in southern Chesterfield within the 3,000-acre Chesdin Landing subdivision. Chesdin Landing was developed by Scott Camps and his company Base Camp Development. Messages left for Camp were not returned by press time.

Meadowbrook, which sits on Cogbill Road just off Chippenham Parkway, was founded in 1957.

The Chesdin club at the time of the merger said it had 225 members. Meadowbrook said at the time it had 485 members. Neither club would say how many members they have currently.

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Chris Terrell
Chris Terrell
7 years ago

I was a member of MCC when this merger happened and helped a little bit on the IT side of the house. What struck me most about the merger was just how very different the two clubs were. MCC was larger and much better established, and it also enjoyed a much better clubhouse and amenities than Chesdin. Chesdin had the advantages of being in a posh (but isolated, oh so isolated) neighborhood with a beautiful, modern course. The two courses were a full 30 minutes from one another, and the cross -pollenization that was hoped for never seemed to materialize.… Read more »