The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, the much acclaimed but long financially troubled Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Sheboygan Falls, appears to be getting a second life.
Oshkosh lawyer Virginia George, the trustee who has been assigned to handle the bankruptcy of the course’s previous owner, said late Wednesday there is an accepted purchase agreement for $3.1 million from a buyer who fully intends to have the golf course open for the 2020 season.
“There is an accepted offer,” she said. “That’s a big step.”
As for readying the course for play this season, George said, “Yes, absolutely. That I can confirm on the record.”
George said she was not at liberty to identify the buyer. Sources have told Wisconsin.Golf that the buyer is a Milwaukee businessman.
Last fall, the owners of the golf course were found in default to Wisconsin Bank and Trust for $4.2 million. A sheriff’s auction was scheduled for late January, but the sale was postponed almost at the last hour when course owners filed for bankruptcy.
Negotiations with prospective buyers have been underway in the meantime. After one group that initially expressed interest was unable to satisfy the bank’s expectations, George began working with the buyer who made the offer that was accepted by the bank this week.
There are still legal details to contend with. George said that notice must be given to other creditors and approval of the sale by a bankruptcy judge won’t happen until mid-April. She said the coronavirus that has disrupted so much of daily life has not helped the process but that events are proceeding.
The Bull at Pinehurst Farms was named for the longtime cattle breeding business that had operated on the site in Sheboygan Falls, immediately adjacent to the celebrated golf courses at Kohler. When it opened in 2003, The Bull, as it was known for short, earned its own reputation for quality golf in a scenic setting; it hosted a number of high-level state tournaments and found a place on numerous best golf course lists but never got the same attention given to the neighboring courses at Kohler.
Despite its setting, the course has struggled at times throughout its existence. Its principal owner, David Bachmann Jr., staved off foreclosure in 2011 and managed to retain ownership but continued to struggle financially. In declaring bankruptcy earlier this year, Bachmann released a statement attributing the bankruptcy filing to a general downturn in the sport and hospitality industry, “the inability to charge sufficient fees to cover escalating expenses, and consecutive bad years of weather.
“We simply could not generate the revenues needed to cover all debt and expenses the last few years,” Bachmann said.