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Las Vegas Country Club members ‘left at altar’ by new buyer

According to outgoing Las Vegas Country Club general manager Gordon Digby, the members of Las Vegas Country Club aren’t happy after the sale of the club fell through last week.

In September 2016, equity club members voted to sell to a partnership made up of the Wolff Company and Discovery Land, but representatives of the buyers notified club management they were backing out of the deal.

Club president Michael Singer advised club members of the news in an email Thursday. According to a source, the potential owners called off the sale because of four factors, including ground water being found too close to the surface, which would potentially interfere with the building of a new residential tower, and also reported declining revenues of the club.

The sale agreement included rights to 867-acre feet of water, but contentious negotiations between club representatives and the potential new owners about the possible transfer of some of that water to Discovery Land’s new Summit project in Summerlin could have also led to the deal falling apart. Club members are contemplating potential litigation against Wolff/Discovery in an effort to recoup costs associated with the due diligence of the deal.

All doesn’t appear lost for club members who still seem intent to sell. There were several groups that made bids to buy the course prior to the Wolff/Discovery Land agreement.

“It’s been a long, tiring transaction and we got right to the altar and they backed out,” Digby said. “The bottom line is that the membership is very upset but there are other buyers waiting in the wings. The club is going to sell and it’s not going anywhere.”

An official with Discovery Land declined comment for this story.

Digby is leaving Friday to take a new job at the historic Southward Ho Country Club in Bay Shore, New York. He will be replaced by his assistant general manager, Garth Walker. The timing of Digby’s departure had nothing to do with the sale not being finalized.

“I loved my time in Las Vegas,” Digby said. “I loved the membership and the friends I met. I will miss it but I’m from the east coast and this is going home for me.”

Deal of the week

If you are one of the first 200 people to sign up for the Arroyo and Siena players card you will get five free rounds of golf. The $179 card allows for additional discounts through December 2018.

Finkelstein gets the gold

Former UNLV 4-time All-American Dana Finkelstein visited the Ping gold putter vault at company headquarters in Phoenix on Friday. She was there to collect her personal gold putter in recognition of her win last September at the Garden City Charity Classic on the LPGA Symetra Tour. That victory helped Finkelstein become exempt on the 2017 LPGA Tour.

“It’s nice to finally get the gold putter because it reminds me of my win last year and it also reminds me I can play with the best,” Finkelstein said. “My year so far hasn’t gone as well as I would have liked but it’s been a great learning experience.”

Ping founder Karsten Solheim started the gold putter program in the 1970s as a way to commemorate each victory with a Ping putter. The gold-plated putters are built to the exact specs of the winner’s model. One putter is made for the champion while the other is placed inside the vault.

Finkelstein has made four of 13 cuts and earned $27,916 this season.

Stars on, off course

Topgolf Las Vegas already seems larger than life and that was truly the case last Thursday when former NBA superstar Shaquille O’ Neal and friends took swings from the Chairman’s suite. The O’ Neal group was taking a break from watching Shaq’s son, Shareef, play AAU basketball in the Bigfoot Las Vegas Classic, which his team won.

The golf notebook appears each Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider on Twitter.

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