A Chinese owner of Black Bear Golf Club in Longs is close to acquiring his second course in the greater Myrtle Beach area: Pineland Country Club in Nichols.
Kang Zou, who purchased Black Bear in late May with his parents Shi Lin Zou and Chun Lan Li, has a verbal agreement to purchase Pineland, according to Danny Baxley, Pineland’s managing partner whose family owns the course.
“They have made me a verbal offer. I do not have a contract yet,” Baxley said. “There are a lot of hurdles, so I think it would be premature to say they would be buying it. But we are definitely in negotiations with them.”
Baxley said due diligence of a purchase such as surveys, an environmental study, building inspections and the assumption of a golf cart lease agreement have to be completed before the sale is closed, but his family wants to sell the course.
The course could be sold by the end of November if there are no delays.
Baxley’s father, Ernest, who previously owned Green Acres in Aynor before it was sold and closed late in 2006 – it was also previously called Rolling Hills and West Kingston – was the impetus for the family’s involvement in Pineland.
But Ernest Baxley is ill and the family no longer wants the responsibility of running the course.
Pineland has been listed for sale with an asking price of $699,000. It encompasses 260 acres and includes 18 holes, a clubhouse, cart barn, two bathrooms, a maintenance shed, swimming pool and two tennis courts that aren’t in use.
”That’s why the Chinese are buying all these properties because land is cheap right now,” said Baxley, who is a Beach Realty Group real estate agent.
Chinese nationals own eight Myrtle Beach courses. In addition to Black Bear, Crown Park Golf Club, Founders Club at Pawleys Island, Indian Wells Golf Club, Burning Ridge Golf Club, and the three courses at Sea Trail Plantation are also owned by residents of China.
Pineland is a nearly 6,700-yard par-72 Gene Hamm design that opened in 1971. Baxley said it opened as a private club with 400 area residents as the original stockholders before eventually transitioning to a public-access layout that still has about 200 members.
He said his family and some partners purchased the course about a decade ago. His family bought out the partners in 2010 and sold the business while retaining the mortgage, then had to foreclose and regain operation of the course in May 2013.
Black Bear general manager Patrick Wilkinson is expected to add the Pineland GM/head pro position to his duties.
Pineland’s current 18-hole rates are $22 on weekdays and $27 on weekends, including cart.
The Baxleys are donating use of the course Friday to a benefit for Dillon police officer Jacob Richardson, who was severely injured in a car accident in July. Players can enter and get more information by calling 843-526-2175.