Those who don’t read the Jewish Voice missed a big story in RI private golf. Ledgemont (which was originally a largely Jewish country club — hence the newspaper) sold to Joseph and Paula Ruggiero. A member-owned club that at one point nearly 50 years ago had an enormous waiting list (which to some degree triggered the creation of Crestwood), they had been in financial distress for years. My wife used to get membership flyers in her work mailbox — points for originality though likely ineffective. They had been in discussions with Agawam Hunt about a merger, but what I heard of the proposal didn’t make much economic sense.
Lots of plans for renovations. And some very deep pockets. But it wasn’t lack of capital spending that hurt them — they had high dues and got squeezed in their market niche as the higher-end Providence clubs became accessible. The course and facilities were OK when I played it this summer. I prefer Crestwood or Agawam Hunt personally.
I do salute their board. They tried a lot of different tactics to recruit new members. And rather than wait for bankruptcy, they did something about it by preemptively selling. The core of the membership is likely intact, with stable dues and no more assessments going forward. It is probably as good of an outcome as can be expected. I’ll be curious to see what the new owners do in terms of innovative pricing models or services. There are certain things that just can’t be done in a member-owned environment.
I’m really curious what the other two local courses that Joe Ruggiero owns are.