Coppinwood Restructures, 16 Partners Plan to Acquire Club

Coppinwood #11

Coppinwood #11

There has been plenty of speculation about what is happening at Coppinwood, the course east of Toronto that was designed by Tom Fazio and has been open for three seasons. A bold project, the club needed upwards of 300 equity members to make its numbers work and struggled to get much beyond 150. Among the owners were Paul McLean of Maxium, a golf financing company that works with more than 600 clubs, his partner Syd Menashy, and others, including Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson.

Clearly the ownership group felt that if they built the best course in Canada, it would attract members from all over the GTA. But when the course opened, reviews consistently said it was very good, but not great, with several average holes on the front nine.

What happened next is anyone’s guess given the economy. But a source close to the deal tells me that 16 members have agreed to acquire all the equity in the club, putting it on a solid footing financially. The deal has not yet been concluded and decisions on how the club will run have not been determined.

“It’ll remain a private course, that’s for sure,” said the source.

Rumors have been circulating that Coppinwood will reemerge as a different sort of club, with drastically reduced initiations that don’t include equity. That is unclear at the moment and my source says it has not been decided. The source added there were no other offers for the club and this was a club-driven solution.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I guess it’s not right to judge by one picture, but then again a picture is worth a 1000 words right? Well in my opinion that picture is worth 1000 average words at best! Are those dandelions behind the green??

    I think the GTA is a tough spot for a new high end course, because there are already so many courses around. Is it true that Ontario is one of the densest areas for per capita golf courses?

    It’s also crazy to hear that only 16 people are picking up the bill and liability for the whole course, especially when it was originally aimed at a membership of 300!

    Maybe i’ll get to play it some day.. i can dream right?

  • that’s a beautiful par three with wild flowers on the back nine. I think the whole back of the green was a dark violet when I was there.

    I was fortunate to be invited to play in 2008 and I enjoyed the experience immensely.

    Awesome club and great club house. It puts to shame some of the former clubs I was a member of. Glad, they are keeping Club Link’s hands off this property.

  • Great golf club but as RT says a few weak holes. For the record the GTA has a lot of golf courses but no where near the highest per capita. We all forget that the GTA is the 5th largest (populous) in North America.

    The 16 are deep. Especially with Maxium involved.

  • As one of the life-time member from the inception of the Club, Robert is not correct saying the club is looking for 300 EQUITY members. The Equity owners were around 10 or so from the beginning. What Robert should have meant was 300 life-time members. ..The change that may be taking place is equity ownership and it does not involve big numbers like 300. I have yet to hear from the management or ownership that the initiation fee will be drastically reduced.

  • RT is pretty thorough and usually gets his facts fairly straight. In this case, he is above par with about 67% correct. But that’s closer than anyone else has come this week. Stay tuned……!

  • Well that would be amazing if that hill was full of violet flowers. It doesn’t sound like Clublink will get their hands on it, and i agree, that’s a good thing.

  • I’ve played there twice, nice but not amazing. Their revenue does not cover the operating cost, so even if these 16 take over the equity they will have to dig into their deep pockets to cover each year’s budget shortfall.

    Any old timers remember the Mandarin G&CC back in ’91? They had to do the same deal. Look at them now.

  • Surprised RT didn’t have the scoop on tonight’s meeting. Lots of outsiders there so he could easily have had a rep on hand. It was a dandy. Stay tuned……..

  • Phil: In the UK on holiday. I’m sure someone will email me, but for the time being I’m not too concerned!

  • “Stay tuned…” in both of your posts, Mr. Bowllen?

    A “Dandy”?

    Do you freelance for the Enquirer? You do have a good feel for sensationalism, don’t you?

  • phil Says:
    April 14th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    1) what happened with Mandarin? what should we look at now?

    2) who is BIG al?

    Mandarin is a private club however you can find it on the Last Minute Golfer website. Any public player be able to play in there without member. Membership running low and members do want to pay more.

  • Congratulations to the members for pulling together, and doing what needed to be done to maintain this wonderful club (and course).

    Well done.

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