More Golf Club Mergers

Following in the wake of the Polo Fields – Washtenaw Country Club merger announcement comes a similar plan from the historic Detroit Athletic Club and Forest Lake Country Club.

From a press release:

The purpose of the proposed merger is to maximize members’ experience and value by providing the highest quality service, beautiful facilities and membership in what will be the finest club in Michigan at its two prime locations.

Combining the Detroit Athletic Club and Forest Lake Country Club offers several important economic and cultural enhancements to the Detroit region
including: 1) increasing the overall value of membership in these prestigious clubs; 2) setting a new standard for how clubs do business, not only here but
across the country; and 3) advancing club culture as a valued and uplifting center for community leadership.

The Detroit Athletic Club is in downtown Detroit; Forest Lake in suburban Bloomfield Hills.

This sort of thing makes sense to me. The clubs will enjoy certain economies of scale, as the clubs surely will merge and reduce office staff and other administrative functions. At the same time, it should increase the value of the experience for the members. But whereas the Washtenaw Country Club actually will be purchased by Polo Fields, this seems like a merger of equals.

The full release follows:

The Detroit Athletic Club and Forest Lake Country Club signed a non-binding letter of intent on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, that sets the stage for a possible merger of the two historic organizations.

The purpose of the proposed merger is to maximize members’ experience and value by providing the highest quality service, beautiful facilities and membership in what will be the finest club in Michigan at its two prime locations.

Combining the Detroit Athletic Club and Forest Lake Country Club offers several important economic and cultural enhancements to the Detroit region
including: 1) increasing the overall value of membership in these prestigious clubs; 2) setting a new standard for how clubs do business, not only here but
across the country; and 3) advancing club culture as a valued and uplifting center for community leadership.

The letter of intent begins the process of an in-depth due diligence of each club that is required to make an informed recommendation to the memberships of both organizations. Following the due diligence period, recommendations to each respective club board will be made regarding the proposed transaction.

Any future combination of the two organizations is subject to approval by each club’s board and requires a vote of each membership. 

Founded in 1887 by amateur athletes, the Detroit Athletic Club moved to its beautiful downtown clubhouse (designed by famed architect Albert Kahn) in 1915 and has since become the region’s premier social, business and athletic club. This year the DAC was again recognized as one of the top two Platinum Clubs in the country and the number one club in Michigan. It has also been recognized for its quality management efforts with the prestigious Michigan Quality Council’s Leadership Award.

Detroit industrialist Edwin S. George originally founded Forest Lake Country Club, located in Bloomfield Hills, in 1926. Besides an Albert Kahn designed
clubhouse, FLCC today offers excellent dining, golf, swimming, tennis and lake activities overlooking Forest Lake. The William Diddel designed golf course is
known for its beauty.

“This is an important step that can truly enrich the great traditions and value of our venerable institutions,” said DAC President Richard A. Brodie.
“Forest Lake is an outstanding organization with a vision similar to the DAC’s. We are very excited about what a merger would mean for the Detroit
community and look forward to this unique opportunity.”

“FLCC has been looking for opportunities to improve our overall members’ experience and to provide the best value to our members,” said FLCC President
Paul Hittler. “We view the DAC as a premier organization whose culture nicely aligns with Forest Lake’s. We are excited to hear what our members’ response
to this opportunity will be.”

CONTACT: Ted Gillary, Executive Manager, Detroit Athletic Club: (313) 442-1014

SOURCE Detroit Athletic Club

Ted Gillary, Executive Manager, Detroit Athletic Club, +1-313-442-1014

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