Corporate Headquarters: Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Category: Course Management
Rick Farrant, Founder
John Brown, GreatLIFE Golf CEO
Jason Harshbarger, GreatLIFE Golf CFO
In late 2022, GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness merged with Brown Golf to create one of the largest golf holding and management entities in the country — a company that was renamed GreatLIFE Golf post-merger.
GreatLIFE Golf’s portfolio includes 55 golf courses, with properties located in Vermont, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Missouri and Kansas.
GreatLIFE Golf’s business focus is on acquisitions, leases, third party management, and accounting management. The new company offers four key brands which include Signature, Premier, Classic, and Destination.
John Brown, the co-founder and CEO of Brown Golf, assumed the role of GreatLIFE Golf CEO, with Jason Harshbarger, co-owner and CFO of Brown Golf, assuming the role of GreatLIFE Golf CFO.
“Both our organizations have thrived the last several years,” said Brown, who launched Brown Golf Management in 2011 and grew the portfolio to 25 golf courses that included assets that were managed, leased and owned. “We did not accept status quo. We’ve both pushed ourselves to invent better solutions – solutions that are better for our customers, and our bottom line.”
“GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness and Brown Golf is a partnership for the future,” said Rick Farrant, who founded GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness in the Kansas City area in 1992. “Brown Golf has the infrastructure for success and GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness has created a great brand and portfolio that we look forward to carrying forward via this merger under the GreatLIFE name. Now, we want to expand our portfolio and help more courses realize their potential.”
Farrant, a former golf course superintendent, initially started offering club memberships with monthly fees that only cost $20 a month. When GreatLIFE more than tripled its price structure seven years later, membership sales slowed. Fees were dropped down to $25 per month shortly thereafter and it was memberships that tripled. When Farrant added fitness centers at his facilities in the early 2000’s, it proved to be yet another enticement for prospective members.
A separate lifestyle brand, GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness of South Dakota, will continue to operate independently under the GreatLIFE umbrella with seven golf facilities, ten affiliate golf courses, twenty gyms and one bowling center.
The merger between GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness and Brown Golf was a significant one, uniting two accomplished brands with different histories to forge a new path forward within the golf management space.
With forward-thinking leadership and vision, GreatLIFE Golf is strongly positioned to deliver on its mission: enriching the lives of individuals and families through the game of golf, positive social connection, and a dedication to healthy lifestyles while understanding the tremendous economic benefit a club can bring to the local community.
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