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Hanover may pull pin on Nicklaus-designed course



A new golf course at Kinloch near Taupo bearing the name of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus is likely to be sold due to financial pressure on the developers.

The development's main backer is Hanover Finance, with FE Investments, half owned by finance company First Eastern Finance, the secondary backer.

Shirley Akers of Baileys real estate in Taupo, which has the agency to sell property for Kinloch Golf Resort, said three internationally known names were looking at buying the property as a "trophy course".

Akers said the developers lacked enough finance to fully develop the project. The resort initially planned a five-star lodge but that had been deferred and probably scrapped.

She said three offers were on the table for the course, which is yet to be completed.

The development over 345 hectares near the lake shore aims to sell lots around the golf course that will give rights to play the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Only 40 of the 176 lots have sold. One house has been built and two are nearing completion.

Jack Nicklaus, winner of a record 18 majors, came out in March to hit the first drive to open the Jack Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.

Only nine holes are completed and the second nine were due to be finished next month but that has been delayed until December. The course cost $16 million to develop.

It's the only Jack Nicklaus course in New Zealand and one of 25 around the world bearing his name.

Hanover's chief executive Sam Stubbs said it was comfortable with its security over its debt, which he said was a first mortgage. He was not able to say, due to client confidentiality, whether the loan was being serviced.

Kinloch Golf Resort developer William Ormerod said it had negotiated a new facility with Hanover that it was drawing down and that would carry it through for some time.

"The key thing is that we have the main funder with us and, with the major asset in place, the main focus comes on to sales.

"We don't have big development finance needed any more. Compared to where we were running, it's a lot easier to manage now," he said.

He was hopeful of good sales this summer. He did not discuss the prospect of the course being sold.

 

Read more at www.nzherald.co.nz

 

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