The International’s new ownership sets high prices for membership

As reported Friday in the Worcester Telegram, The International and Twin Springs golf courses in Bolton have been sold to Escalante Golf. Escalante Golf President David McDonald is quoted on the club’s website as saying, “Our vision is to create a golf-first experience at the highest level that preserves and honors the 120-year legacy of The International.”

210Sports was provided an email by a source that wished to remain anonymous. The email, sent by Ryan McDonald of Escalante Golf to former members of The International, introduces the new owners and invites the former members to rejoin the club. As you can tell by the following email, the prices are significantly higher than the previously published number for the course, where the initiation fee was $65,000 and annual dues were $8,000.

Based on the email conversation that was included by the source, it seems that some former members find the new costs as silly as this public course golfer does. It makes one wonder if Escalante Golf may have misjudged the market in central Massachusetts.

The following is the email sent, posted unedited. Any links in the email have been automatically removed:

Dear Former Member or Partner of The International,

We’d like to introduce ourselves to those of you who we have yet to meet and be the first to share the news that golf will be played at The International this Spring. Escalante Golf is the proud new owner of The International in Bolton, MA and are eager to usher it into a new era while restoring what has allowed the club to build its great legacy. Escalante Golf is a group of owner operators dedicated to the long-term stewardship of prestigious golf courses and private clubs as across the country. Leading the 17 clubs in our portfolio from our Home Office in Fort Worth, TX, we aim to manage clubs at the highest level of excellence, serving members with a spirit of true hospitality. With 30 years of history and a proven track record of complex transactions, we have confidence in our ability to execute and deliver an experience that sets our clubs apart.

The Escalante team has been grateful to connect with many former members over the past few months as we prepared to acquire The International and develop a plan for its future. Some of you may have attended our in-person or virtual meetings reached out with interest in returning to the club for the upcoming golf season. We had the opportunity to share our initial thoughts and talk with a number of former members and we want you to know that we listened, heard, and appreciated the feedback received.

If you have not had the opportunity to learn about the striking vision Escalante Golf has for The International, please take a moment to review the summary of our plan in this letter. Additionally, we’ve included an outline of the introductory membership opportunity, which offers former members of the club a preferred introductory rate, recognition for both tenure and seniority, and payment options, in order to honor those with a history at the club who desire to be an integral part of its future. Lastly, we touch on our membership enrollment methodology so you can know what to expect should you decide to take part in the next chapter at The International.

Vision for The International

The new vision for the club aims to create a welcoming environment with a golf-first experience, fostering a culture rooted in a deep respect for the game that honors and connects the membership. The International will be about golf the way it was created to be played, valuing the legacy of the golden era of golf where pure golf and nature intersect at the only private, 36 hole golf club in greater Boston. Consistent excellence, attention to detail, sincerity of service, and a passion for upholding the reputation The International will be the essence of our vision for the club.

As a fully private golf club, we believe The International should exist solely to benefit its members and their guests. We are dedicated to limiting outside events, weddings, and tournaments, that are not sponsored by a member of the club. Striving to be a truly national and international membership with passionate golfers from around the globe, the property will act as a “golf nirvana” and respite from life outside the gates of the club. Our team and future members will pledge to support and welcome this desired vision with the hope that The International will serve lovers of the game for generations to come.

Pines Course: The Pines course will reopen Spring of 2021. Initial investments will be made to replace new sand for all the bunkers on the course. The agronomy team will work to restore the high level of conditioning and quality playing services expected from a premiere private golf club. The course will be open for both the 2021 and 2022 golf seasons and will close at the end of 2022 for Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw to begin the restoration of The Pines course. A contract has been signed and their team is excited about the opportunity to work on such a fantastic piece of property. The course will be closed for the 2023 golf season and will reopen to tremendous fanfare in the Spring of 2024.

Oaks Course: The Oaks course will remain closed for the Spring of 2021 to undergo significant and necessary restoration to return the course back to its former glory. Golf course architect Tripp Davis will oversee restoration of the Fazio Course with complete bunker renovation and the recovery of the former sandy waste areas. The golf course will be lengthened, tee boxes will be laser leveled and re-grassed, a new set of tees will be added, and additional work will be done to improve irrigation, drainage, and cart paths. One of the ambitions of The Oaks course restoration is to give the course the ability to play firm and fast. The work is expected to be completed in the late 2021 golf season.

Clubhouse & Fireside Room: The clubhouse housing the restaurant, pro shop, and admin offices will reopen Spring of 2021. All amenities will be fully available, including the pro shop, locker room, and food & beverage offerings. The clubhouse will be restored with a deep cleaning and new paint, carpet, televisions, and furnishings. The pro shop will be stocked to carry the latest coveted golf geer and apparel sporting an updated version of the iconic logo of The International. Additionally, a new golf cart fleet will be available upon opening for the 2021 golf season. This clubhouse will serve the membership and their guests over the next few years.

The Lodge: We will renovate and re-open 15 overnight rooms for use by members and their guests and re- envision the Common Room as an additional great club room to be enjoyed in a new way. This updated retreat will enable members to unwind, hang out and connect beyond the clubhouse or locker room facilities. We see the new Common Room area set up as a quiet, relaxing space with the necessary wifi, seating, and docking stations needed for those hoping to get some work done before or after their round. Our desire is to enable members to utilize the club for their ideal “work from home” solution. Curated food and beverage service will be available in this lounge area. The lounge, along with the overnight guest rooms, will be available beginning Spring of 2021.

The New Clubhouse: A new, state-of-the-art clubhouse facility will be built in the near future behind the 18th green of The Pines course. This clubhouse will be designed in collaboration with Restoration Hardware and will represent the image of the new vision and enhanced experience of The International to better serve the needs of the modern golfer. We anticipate this building to hold additional overnight guest rooms to serve the members and those visiting the club on their behalf.

Introductory Membership Offering

Like you, our team believes The International is an extraordinary club with tremendous potential. With Escalante Golf’s operational expertise and investment into the property, we are confident that the membership will warrant Initiation Fees of $100,000 for Owner Members and $50,000 for Founder Members. Based on your feedback and our empathy towards those who suffered from the club’s bankruptcy, we have thoughtfully designed a plan to offer 1) an introductory Initiation Fee price for early joiners, 2) recognition credit for both tenure and seniority for former members, and 3) financing options for both Founder and Young Executive membership to enable you to come back home to The International.

All Membership will be comprised of stewards who will share in the rewards of shepherding a new era of golf at The International. All memberships at the club include the primary member, spouse and dependents through age 24. Members enjoy unlimited play along with full access to practice facilities. Annual dues are inclusive of locker and bag storage for both the primary member and spouse. Members are not subject to food and beverage minimums.

Owner Member Introductory Offering 2021
Owner Members participate in annual distributions and enjoy extraordinary benefits for qualified accredited investors. This membership is transferable, in accordance with the Club’s Membership Plan. Additional information about Owner Member offering is available upon request.
Initiation Fee: $100,000
Annual Dues: $12,000

Founder Member Introductory Offering 2021
Initiation Fee: $30,000 introductory offer for 2021; $50,000 future targeted Initiation Fee
Annual Dues: $12,000

Young Executive Introductory Offering 2021
By age 40, all Young Executive members of The International will pay the full Founder Member Initiation Fee. Young Executives enjoy a preferred down payment, and generous annual installments towards the balance of their initiation fee. Young Executive members who join in 2021 “lock in” the Founder introductory rate at $30,000.

Tier 1: Age 29 and Under
Initiation Fee: $5,000
Annual Dues: $6,000
Annual Installment towards Founder Member Initiation Fee balance: $2,000

Tier 2: Age 30-34
Initiation Fee: $10,000
Annual Dues: $8,000
Annual Installment towards Founder Member Initiation Fee balance: $2,000

Tier 3: Age 35-39
Initiation Fee: $15,000
Annual Dues: $10,000
Annual Installment towards Founder Member Initiation Fee balance: $2,000

Former Member Incentives (Available for a limited time, expires March 31st, 2021)
Initiation Fee Credit:
• A $1,000 credit for each year of membership tenure at The International prior to its closure
• Credit can be applied towards introductory Initiation Fee, it cannot be used towards annual dues or the Owner Member offering
• Young Executive members may apply the tenure credit to the tail end of their annual payments towards the full introductory Founder Member Initiation Fee

Interest Free Financing Option:
• Financing will be available for the Founder Member Initiation Fee with the option of $15,000 due at the time of application with the remaining balance due on first anniversary of joining with no interest applied
• Members may apply their tenure credit to the second payment only

Seniority Adjustment:
• Former members aged 72 or older have a preferred annual dues rate of $9,000 for the Founder Member option, regularly $12,000

We are currently accepting applications for all categories of membership. If you are ready to return to The International and take advantage of the introductory offer for former members before we begin spreading the word to the greater Boston area, apply for membership using this link. Once you submit your application, a member of our team will connect with you to review the membership plan, verify the tenure for your credit, and answer any questions you may have. All introductory offers will expire on March 31st, 2021.

For Founder, Young Executive, and former member incentive inquiries, please contact Ryan McDonald at rmcdonald@escalantegolf.com or 817.266.4680 and she can get you started in the Membership Enrollment Process.

For qualified accredited investors with inquiries about the Owner Partner Member offering, please contact Bobby Silva at rsilva@escalantegolf.com or 214.675.8341 for additional information.

Membership Enrollment Methodology

In order to establish the desired culture and values of a healthy and influential private club membership, all membership applicants must participate in the enrollment process established at the club. The membership methodology will include an interview with a representative from The International prior to acceptance. Upon joining, Members must sign and agree to uphold the Values Pledge established by the club which will be shared with applicants during the enrollment process.

In Gratitude

We sincerely thank you for considering being a part of the new vision for The International and returning home to this incredible club. We are committed to stewarding the club with the level of excellence that will make The International one of the most sought-after clubs in the greater Boston area. Our team is eager to help answer questions, create clarity and certainty about where we are headed, and discuss other needs not mentioned in this letter. We look forward to seeing you on the 1st tee of The Pines this Spring.

At your service,
The Team at Escalante Golf

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