2017 Campaign FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t golf – why should I care if the course re-opens?
We all have a significant stake in our community and benefit from the enhanced quality of life and added home value that living in a golf course community provides.

  • Statistics show that living in a golf course community conservatively adds 10% to 15% to the value of our homes. If the property does not re-open as a golf course, property values of the 341 Saddlebrook homes alone will drop by an estimated $3.4 to $5.1 million.
  • Our community is safer with a well-maintained, operational golf course. Disrepair and decay breed more of the same – First Financial Bank (FFB) as well as homeowners have already reported vandalism across several parts of the property.

Why should we trust Green Golf Partners (GGP) to be good stewards of our investment?
Indiana-based GGP is one of the country’s leading golf course management and development companies. GGP’s partnerships include public and private operations of 17 properties stretching across Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin.

  • Since discussions began last July, GGP has consistently shown a respect for the needs of our community and has been responsive to all questions and requests.
  • GGP has expressed a willingness and commitment to not only bring Saddlebrook back into operation, but also to collaborate closely with the neighbors in the surrounding area. They have proposed a community advisory committee to stimulate an ongoing, mutually-beneficial partnership between homeowners and GGP.
  • Learn more about GGP at greengolfpartners.com

Will contributors receive any direct benefits from GGP?
Yes! GGP has established an attractive rewards program for those who contribute at a leadership level. Here are a few highlights of the incentives, which are in effect for 5 years:

  • $1,000 and above: 5% off golf, merchandise and food/beverage at Saddlebrook
  • $2,500 and above: 5% off golf, merchandise and food/beverage at Saddlebrook and ALL Indiana GGP courses, plus passes for 4 rounds of golf annually at Saddlebrook and complimentary walking golf after 7 p.m.
  • $5,000 and above: 5% off golf, merchandise and food/beverage at Saddlebrook and ALL GGP properties nationwide, plus passes for 8 rounds of golf annually at Saddlebrook, complimentary walking golf after 6 p.m. and a VIP golf outing and dinner annually

Why does GGP need our capital investment to help cover the cost of restoration?
Over the past year, FFB has refused to negotiate on the purchase price. That price, combined with the significant restoration needed, make the deal a losing proposition for any business hoping to operate in the black. This is what doomed the previous Saddlebrook operators, and is the reason all other potential buyers have walked away.

Are there any other options?
No. Offering to help fund restoration expenses has been the ONLY way to attract a golf course buyer. If GGP does not close on their purchase agreement, Saddlebrook will no longer be a golf course and FFB will be forced to seek other buyers, such as a developer for multi-family housing or worse, the land remains abandoned.

Can some of our HOA dues be used to help restore the golf course?
Our current HOA covenants do not allow any of our dues to be used to support the golf course.

What will our contributions be used for?
The $300,000 will cover the cost of labor and materials to re-seed greens, repair sand traps, improve drainage, fix the driving range (including net replacement), repair the clubhouse, and replace broken fences. The expenses break down as follows:

$85,000 to re-seed the greens
$40,000 to repair the sand traps and improve drainage
$15,000 to fix the driving range and replace the nets
$50,000 to renovate and furnish the club house & buildings
$60,000 labor
$50,000 to repair the fence (Note: This is not essential to the function of the course, but is very important to the appearance of the neighborhood.)
$300,000  Total

Will we get our money back if the purchase doesn’t happen?
Yes. Our contribution is not going toward the purchase of the property or the operation of the course. GGP is taking on those responsibilities entirely themselves.  We will not pay anything to GGP until after the sale closes, since renovation of the work can’t begin until after they own it.

How will my contribution be processed and protected?
The Friends of Saddlebrook LLC has been established to manage the processing of our contributions and the distribution of monies to GGP.

What if the GGP decides to sell or close the course after a year or two?
The agreement with GGP stipulates that the $300,000 will be an interest-free loan from Friends of Saddlebrook LLC to be forgiven at the rate of 20% ($60,000) each year.  If GGP sells the course within 5 years, the outstanding balance of the loan will be paid back to the LLC.

Will we get our money back sometime in the future, after the course is successful again?
No. Our money is a one-time capital investment. The return will be recognized with sustained – even increased – home values, as Saddlebrook remains a golf course community.

Will our contributions give us a tax break?
This is not a charitable contribution qualifying for a deduction.

When do we need to make our donations?
We need your pledge commitment now. Donations may be paid at the time of your pledge or before the end of November this year, either by check to Friends of Saddlebrook, or with your debit or credit card on the Friends of Saddlebrook website.

Is there a minimum contribution amount per household?
We are asking each Saddlebrook homeowner to contribute $1,000. We understand this may not be possible for everyone to give at this level, and we also have surrounding neighbors who want to contribute as well. We are asking every neighbor to consider the added value that living in or near a golf course community brings and contribute to the greatest extent possible.

What happens if I choose not to give?
There is no obligation for you to give.  However, if this funding effort fails, we will all suffer the consequences of lower property values, along with the potential for increased crime in our area as the course continues to deteriorate or is sold by the bank to developers.


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