Phil Herrington's Oklahoma City Golf Club Poised for Auction Block

by George Waldon  on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 12:00 am  

Herrington’s money woes extended to the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, which is owed $277,000 for irrigating the golf course.

Some members would like to see Gaillardia return to local ownership and have indicated their intent to make a run at buying the club at auction.

“That is still very active,” Price said. “There is a group of members who are banding together, and they continue to express an interest in purchasing the club. If we move forward with the bid, we’ll find out how serious they are.”

Jeff McDougall, president of JMA Energy Co., said his group of Gaillardia members is serious about entering the ownership picture.

“We view the whole situation as a positive turning point for the club,” said McDougall, who owns the Oklahoma City drilling concern. “We think it’s long overdue to take the uncertainties of being a commodity out of it.”

McDougall, who also owns the largest manor in Gaillardia at 17,500 SF-plus, wouldn’t be surprised if another bidding group or two shows up at the party.

“It’s a great place,” McDougall said. “It just needs better management.”

Art Swanson, chairman of Cardinal River Energy I LLC in Oklahoma City and a founding member of Gaillardia, joined the foreclosure litigation as an intervener on behalf of the club membership.

Swanson and others believe the Gaillardia membership had the first right of refusal to buy the club. However, he said, Judge Parrish has indicated that right was terminated by the foreclosure process.

“That was surprising to us,” Swanson said. “We haven’t seen an order, so we haven’t made a decision on whether to appeal that.”

Swanson has known Herrington since he bought the club 11 years ago from the heirs of media billionaire Edward Gaylord but hasn’t talked with him during the past 60 days.

“I always found him willing to listen although we haven’t always agreed,” Swanson said. “Since mid- to late 2008, the property started getting a little ragged around the edges. It was pretty obvious there were some financial issues.

“Had he gone to the members years ago, this situation could’ve turned out differently. I expressed that with him directly. He just didn’t want to do that.

“He was more invested in trying to work it out himself. It was always ‘there is a solution around the corner.’ He was always long on promises and short on specifics.”



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