The Bull at Pinehurst Farms Hole No. 18

The 18th hole at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms.

A federal bankruptcy judge Monday approved the sale of The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, paving the way toward a mid-summer reopening of the only Jack Nicklaus signature course in Wisconsin.

A virtual closing on the purchase is set for Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Cedarburg businessmen John Dunfee and Randy Groth offered about $2.4 million for the golf course property, buildings and equipment of the highly respected but long financially troubled operation. Dunfee said their intent was to reopen The Bull, as the course is informally known, by mid-July.

In a brief hearing conducted by telephone, the trustee appointed by the court, Virginia George, described “a lengthy sales process” that culminated with the offer from Dunfee and Groth. George said that at least five parties had expressed varying interest in acquiring The Bull, including an earlier bid of $3.1 million that was withdrawn shortly before it was scheduled to be approved, and that Wisconsin Bank and Trust had agreed to accept the new offer even though it is well below the more than $4.4 million it is owed by the previous owners.

George said no objections to the sale had been filed by the June 26 deadline and none were expected. The only change to the offer was to make clear that The Bull’s fleet of golf carts, which are leased, are not included in the sale.

George said another positive aspect of the offer was that the buyers had agreed to honor deposits from a number of people who had scheduled weddings, class reunions and other events at The Bull. Those events can take place as scheduled or, if canceled, deposits will be refunded.

George told U.S. bankruptcy judge Brett Ludwig “we’re happy to report that it appears we are ready to close.”

When a lawyer for the bank expressed consent to the sale, Ludwig granted the sale motion.

The Bull has been closed since last season but the bank has been paying a private company to maintain the course.

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