[caption id="attachment_231972" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Ron Jaworski Golf recently acquired the Back Creek Golf Club in Middletown, marking its first course in Delaware. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
MIDDLETOWN – An investment and management company led by famed former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski has acquired the Back Creek Golf Club with plans for significant upgrades.Jaworski founded Ron Jaworski Golf (RJG) back in 1979 to advance his passion for the game and has grown it in retirement. He’s also added investment partners that include GF Hotels and Resorts and former University of Delaware and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.On May 24, RJG bought the 18-hole Back Creek designed by golf architects Allen Liddicoat and David Horne and opened in 1997 for $1.62 million, according to county land records.It was sold by Back Creek Partners LLC, an investment group led by Fieldstone Golf Club and Links at St. Anne's co-founder Buddy Reed, that purchased the embattled neighborhood-linked course off Churchtown Road near the Maryland border at a sheriff’s sale for $1.975 million in 2009.
[caption id="attachment_231971" align="alignleft" width="300"] Ron Jaworksi Golf is investing $500,000 to refurbish the golf course at Back Creek Golf Club with plans to assess facilities next. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
The group helped revive the course that ranks the sixth most difficult in Delaware by U.S. Golf Association rating. Today, it is semi-private, offering memberships for priority tee times, reduced green fee rates and other perks.Back Creek becomes the eighth course in RJG’s portfolio, but the first in Delaware with the others in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.“We are very excited and proud to add Back Creek to our outstanding collection of courses under the Ron Jaworski Golf umbrella,” Ron Jaworski said in a statement. “We invite all golfers to experience the golf course and take advantage of the many affordable membership and daily fee options.”Aiding the deal was Jaworski’s son, BJ, who serves as president of RJG and was familiar with Back Creek from his time playing on the University of Delaware’s golf team.“It's come full circle for me,” BJ Jaworski told Delaware Business Times. “I was really excited about the opportunity because this is kind of right in our wheelhouse. It's a really great golf course and we felt like it’s in an area that is growing like crazy.”Local golf course broker Larry Hirsh helped to set up the deal, turning to RJG as soon as Reed reached out about sale possibilities, BJ Jaworski said.“I think within two or three days we made a trip down, looked at the property and made an offer right away,” he recalled.As RJG has grown, it was natural to look at the New Castle County market as a new extension, BJ Jaworski said. They purposefully keep their portfolio within a limited range though, because management likes to be able to “put their fingerprint on everything.”The company has already begun investing in its new course, putting $500,000 into restoring its tee boxes, fairways and greens and closing the course for a few days to allow for aerating of soils. They plan to next assess the clubhouse and event space and determine what upgrades may be needed there to drive new revenue growth.“Back Creek lost its way a little bit. It was not in the condition that I remember it,” BJ Jaworski said. “We always say it starts with the golf course. If the greens are rolling nice and the course is in good condition, the beer tastes a little colder and the sandwich tastes a little better.”While RJG is “definitely in acquisition mode,” BJ Jaworski said they don’t have a target portfolio number in mind and rather are assessing opportunities as they arise. That could include additional courses in Delaware, but for now they are focused on Back Creek.“We're very bullish on the club and the area. It feels like such a homerun for us and we've only been there for a few weeks,” he said.Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the purchase price as recorded by the county.
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