ClubCorp, operator of Atlanta’s Commerce Club, being sold to Apollo

ClubCorp, a Dallas operator of golf courses and social clubs — including more than two dozen in the metro Atlanta area — has agreed to sell itself to funds tied to private equity giant Apollo Global Management.

ClubCorp said its board agreed to a $1.1 billion deal that would take the company private. The deal is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The sale comes amid turmoil in the golf industry, as players are playing few rounds and many younger adults are opting not to join private clubs.

The interior of The Buckhead Club in Atlanta.  (Jennifer Brett/

ClubCorp owns or operates the Commerce Club, Buckhead Club, Country Club of the South, Atlanta National Golf Club and Eagle’s Landing Country Club, according to the company’s website. ClubCorp was founded in 1957 and owns more than 200 golf and business clubs, including such well known properties as Firestone Country Club in Ohio, and Mission Hills Country Club in California.

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ClubCorp has made a number of big purchases in recent years, buying courses and renovating them while adding services. In 2014, ClubCorp acquired Newnan-based Sequoia Golf for $265 million in a deal that included a number of Atlanta area clubs under the Canongate brand.

Grounds crews work on a green as a huge homes sits nearby on the golf course at the Country Club of the South in Johns Creek. AJC FILE PHOTO (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

In an email to members, ClubCorp CEO Eric Affeldt said the announcement will have “little if any impact on our day-to-day operations or your experiences at our clubs.”

“Operating as a private company, owned by the Apollo funds, will help us continue to deliver unrivaled experiences and the highest level of service to all of our valued members,” Affeldt said.

Apollo was founded by Leon Black and Atlanta Hawks lead owner Tony Ressler, through Ressler is no longer an executive with the firm. The company has nearly $200 billion in assets under management.

Apollo funds such companies as security giant ADT and the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant chain.


AJC Business reporter J. Scott Trubey keeps you updated on the latest news about economic development and commercial real estate in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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