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Prestigious golf course now changing hands

Date Posted: 2006-11-17

Palm Hills, one of Okinawa’s best known and highly ranked golf courses, is undergoing an ownership change after finding itself mired in debt.

The 18-hole course in the Arakaki District of Itoman, is being sold to Goldman’s Group Investment Bank of the United States. The company has purchased all Palm Hills stock, and current president Koichi Takakura has resigned. He says the new group will affiliate with Golf Tours, but will maintain the existing name, membership system and employees.

Palm Hills, which opened in 1991, has more than 1,500 members. While the membership base was significant, the operating costs were more than Palm Hills could cope with, leading to the search for an investor or new owner. Takakura says repaying the initial investment outlay was formidable.

“It was a difficult for me,” Takakura says, “because of all the problems. I decided my decision had to take precedence for the members of Palm Hills, and I got permission from the land owners.”

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