Ahead of its first full calendar year under new ownership, an area golf course has swapped management companies as it looks to drive membership and revenue.
Brickshire Golf Club in New Kent County in January hired Billy Casper Golf to manage its operations, after parting ways with Wingfield Golf, which had managed it for about a year.
Jerry Assessor, president of the Brickshire Community Association, the group of surrounding homeowners that bought the course last year for $2 million, said it made the change to try to take advantage of Billy Casper’s broader reach.
“They manage 150 courses and we felt they could get us some better marketing exposure,” Assessor said.
Billy Casper runs 13 courses in Virginia, with Magnolia Green in Chesterfield as its only other client in the Richmond metro market. The company previously managed Hanover Country Club, which is now known as Hanover Golf Club and is managed by locally based Acumen Golf.
It also previously managed the Crossing Golf Club in Glen Allen when that course was sold to New York investment firm Fortress Investment Group.
Despite losing Brickshire, South Carolina-based Wingfield Golf still has plenty going on in the area. It manages nearby Club at Viniterra and owns Royal New Kent, which it bought last June for $1.1 million.
As Brickshire approaches a year under new ownership, Assessor said the club will continue to find ways to add members and drive revenue.
“We’re going into hopefully a good year for building memberships,” he said. “The biggest deficit we had last year was the amount of rainfall.”
He said the association has continued to invest money to keep the course in good condition, which it hopes to capitalize on this year.
“I would say it’s in as good a shape as it’s been in the last five years,” he said. “We need to continue to build on that.”
The changes at Brickshire follow the sale last month of nearby Stonehouse Golf Club in Toano. That course, which until last year was part of the same ownership group as Brickshire and Royal New Kent, was purchased for $800,000 by Joe Sanders, a West Point resident and construction company owner.
Sanders aims to repair and reopen the long-shuttered course by summer.
Royal New Kent, which also was left dormant by the financial troubles of its previous owner, also is set to reopen in the coming months after a $2 million renovation plan. Wingfield Golf CEO Barton Tuck said his company aims to have the course ready for play in spring.
Assessor said it remains to be seen how well the former sister courses can coexist once all three are open at the same time.
“Ask me a year from now and I’ll be able to tell you,” he said. “The golf pundits say more is better.”