Corporate Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Category: Course Management
David Pillsbury, CEO
Robert Morse, President & COO
Andrew Lacko, CFO & Treasurer
Emily Decker, Chief Legal Officer
Sherry Vidal-Brown, Chief People Officer
Peter Kent, Chief Commercial Officer
Invited has established itself as one of the dominant golf management companies in the United States and is the largest owner and operator of private clubs.
Formerly known as ClubCorp, the company was founded in Dallas, Texas in 1957 by Robert H. Dedman and was the pioneer that redefined the private club industry. Dedman’s vision was to create private clubs where everyone was welcome, regardless of age, race, religion, or background. Even after his passing in 2002, the company operates with his vision in mind and proudly continues the tradition of welcoming new members from all walks of life.
The company’s commitment to inclusivity within the private club industry was manifested in the recent rebrand from “ClubCorp” to “Invited.”
“Invited is not just a name. It’s everything we are,” CEO David Pillsbury said. “We are Invited because, from the golf courses to the tennis courts, from fine dining to family hang time, we connect and create communities attracting members from diverse backgrounds that share similar passions and pursuits. We create clubs and experiences that combine exceptional amenities and unmatched service with a friendly and welcoming spirit. We want our members, guests, and team members to know that Invited is where they belong.”
While the name ClubCorp help plenty of brand equity on the golf course management industry, the rebrand to Invited accurately reflects the spirit and vision of the company.
Invited has grown significantly in the past 65+ years. Today, the company has more than 200 clubs in its portfolio spread across 30 states, the District of Columbia, and two countries outside the United States.
Among its array of choice golf properties, Invited’s portfolio includes Akron, Ohio’s Firestone Country Club, site of the Bridgestone Senior PLAYERS Championship and The Woodlands Country Club in Texas, site of the PGA TOUR Champions Insperity Invitational.
In 2018, Invited, as has many other golf management companies, entered the off-course golf entertainment industry through a joint venture with BigShots Golf. BigShots provides a similar entertainment experience to more recognizable names like DriveShack and Topgolf but seeks to open locations in areas that have been underserved in the entertainment aspect rather than trying to compete with larger brands.
In September 2017, Invited was sold to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for a reported $1.1 billion equity value. The purchase is a reflection of Invited’s excellence in its field, as the company reportedly raised its revenue by approximately one-third from 2013 to 2016.
Today, Invited focuses on providing extraordinary lifestyle experiences through its championship golf courses, work spaces, handcrafted cuisine, resort-style pools, tennis facilities, golf lounges, fitness centers, robust programming, and continually expanding vast array of benefits and services available through the Invited Network – including exclusive access to sports and event tickets, award-winning restaurants, unique destinations and travel experiences, and more.
With a new name and long legacy, Invited has established itself as a pioneer in the private club industry while focusing on continued expansion. This strategy has led to massive amounts of growth, solidifying Invited’s position as one of the top three golf management companies in the United States.
Invited certainly offers a meaningful advantage in the management space, as it can spread costs around and utilize economies of scale. Its deep portfolio of mid-level private clubs features an active membership with a consistent rate of renewal. That’s appealing for a firm like Apollo, as Invited can generate recurring revenue in the form of monthly club membership dues.
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