The 45-year-old club was put up for auction Wednesday morning on the steps of the Spalding County Courthouse as “the deed to secure the debt (had) become in default,” according to the legal notice. United Bank was foreclosing on Griffin Country Club to pay off a $1.1 million loan from 1998.
The proceeds from the sale, if any, will be applied to the payment of principal and interest of the loan and the cost of the proceedings — the legal notices, auction and attorneys’ fees. When asked if the bank would operate the club and golf course, Jim Ogletree of United Bank said “no.”
The closing of the club puts 32 full- and part-time employees out of work, now-former Griffin Country Club President Michael Hornung said last month. He said the club closed in good order, meaning all vendors and employees were paid.
Hornung had been trying to broker a deal with investors, saying there were two viable plans to keep the club open. He had speculated that one of those investors might buy the club at the auction.
United Bank was the only bidder for the 230.66-acre property, though the auction did draw dozens of interested spectators, including club members, employees and neighbors, with a couple wearing Griffin Country Club golf hats. It took approximately 45 minutes to read aloud the legal description of the 230.66-acre property, which includes several parcels varying in size from 0.09 acres to more than 42 acres.
One of the stipulations of the sale was that the property remain a golf course. The 230.66 acres — including the clubhouse, golf course and cart storage building, as well as accessories, including swimming pool/bathhouse, gazebo, deck and tennis courts — were part of the auction.
United Bank’s purchase price of $500,000 is about a quarter of the appraised price of $2,064,226, according to information on the Spalding County Tax Assessors website. That included land, improvement and accessory values of $761,320 (land), $693,828 (improvement) and $609,078 (accessory).
According to tax information, the property was last sold or transferred in 1985 from Shoal Creek Development Co. to Griffin Country Club. Shoal Creek Development Co. still owns several large tracts in the area.