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TPC program remains intact

PGA tour club will continue to be a fixture for golfers, West Ranch and community

Posted: October 10, 2008 9:15 p.m.
Updated: December 12, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Dr. Mehran Abbassian, a founding member of the Tournament Players Club at Valencia, relaxes on the green in West Ridge. The club's membership program was allowed to continue to operate as usual following a court ruling Friday.

 
The membership program at Tournament Players Club at Valencia remains intact and unchanged following a ruling Friday by a bankruptcy court judge in Delaware.

LandSource Communities Development LLC, which listed the West Ridge golf club as one of its 21 debtor companies, filed a court motion last month asking for permission to keep the membership program going to ensure no interruption to the club’s cash flow.

On Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin J. Carey approved the motion, according to a representative of the court-appointed New York City law firm specializing in business finance and restructuring, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

As well, no objections to the motion were filed.

The fate of the TPC Valencia and other firms listed in LandSource’s bankruptcy case, including Newhall Land and Farming, is still to be decided in court as proceedings continue.

Meanwhile, the professionally designed, recently seeded, manicured links at Tournament Players Club at Valencia will be just as professional, just as green and still neatly trimmed.

Founding club member Don Fleming, who told The Signal earlier this week that he shot a 77 on the last day of the Senior’s Championship a couple of years ago, has a chance to beat his personal best.

Fellow founding member Dr. Mehran Abbassian also has a chance to equal or better the day he shot 75 at the course.

In short, the PGA Tour club will remain a fixture for golfers, West Ranch, and specifically for the West Ridge community.

In the last five years, members invested between $8 million and $21.4 million in memberships purchased at the TPC at Valencia and pay between $125,400 and $160,000 every month in dues.

LandSource listed TPC at Valencia as a debtor company in June when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“It’s business as usual,” golf course spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said this week.

“I certainly value my membership,” said Fleming, general manager of Valencia Acura, who is also a West Ranch Town Council member.

“The TPC is good for the community. It’s a beautiful facility.”

About the court motion to protect the membership program, Fleming said, “That speaks to the caliber of the people involved.

“I have a great deal of respect for the people at Newhall Land and LandSource,” he added.

Also unshaken by bankruptcy news is David Pillsbury, president of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties.

In a written statement he said: “We are aware of the bankruptcy proceedings and continue to monitor the situation as it relates to TPC Valencia, including current focus on the membership program.

“As a licensed TPC facility owned and operated by a third party, it continues to operate with the same quality and standards that are expected of clubs bearing the TPC brand,” he said.

Since it was opened in 2003, TPC Valencia has served to anchor the West Ridge community.

Some of its nearly 330 members said they moved to West Ridge because of the golf course.

TPC at Valencia serves as the public meeting room for the West Ranch Town Council.

Rosalind Wayman, deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, fields county concerns from community leaders and West Ranch residents at regular Town Council meetings at the club.

“It’s certainly important to the community,” Wayman said of TPC at Valencia.

The golf course remains a selling point for West Ridge real estate agents.

“It’s not a hard sell,” Realtor Michael Feicco of Santa Clarita Premier Homes said recently. “All you’ve got to do is open the door and let nature take its course.”

Paul Brotzman, director of community development for the city of Santa Clarita, said developers traditionally consider a golf course to be a fixture that binds a community.

“If it works, it becomes an anchor for that community,” he said.

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