PRO GOLF OF AMERICA Franchise Ends in Chapter 11 Asset Auction

Pro Golf of America CEO/President Frank Hutton recently posted this notice on LinkedIn:

“Franchise Chapter 11 Asset AuctionBankruptcy Court Sale
”In re: Golf Acquisitions LLC dba/ Pro Golf LLC Case No. 09-66452 United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District Southern Division of MI. There will be an auction for the sale of all fixed and revenue producing assets of this national franchiser of retail golf stores. Auction will be on June 4, 2010 @ 9:30 AM at office of Charles J. Taunt & Associates, PLLC. Specific court approved bid procedures must be met for participation in auction.
”Interested parties should contact Frank Hutton, CEO/President @ fhutton@progolfamerica.com or 1-800-776-4653 for an Executive Summary, NDA in order to undertake the due diligence, and bid procedures.”

Frank Hutton has been CEO/President at Pro Golf of America since January, 2008 His LinkedIn profile reads Recruited to turnaround or release underperforming franchisees, and sell additional franchises under a new retail business model. Seeking new opportunity due to lack of new capital for repositioning and expansion. Currently negotiating with 24 domestic franchisee candidates, and brand licensing in 7 countries on 3 continents.

Just three years prior to Hutton being recruited to turn around the ailing franchise, Pro Golf of America press releases, like this one, were boasting record growth:

Record franchise growth at Pro Golf

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Jan. 17, 2005 – Pro Golf of America, Inc. (Ajay Sports, Inc.) (Pink Sheets:AJAY) (Pink Sheets:AJAYP), has announced record franchise growth with the addition of 20 new stores opened for business during the 2004 golf season with an additional eight new stores to open in early 2005. These 28 new franchise locations are widely distributed with 27 sites throughout the United States plus 1 international location in Ireland.

Brian Donnelly, President & COO of Pro Golf commented: "Pro Golf has secured a strong network of new franchisees which greatly complements the existing base. We see significant opportunities for continued growth worldwide. Since 1962, serious golfers have learned to depend on Pro Golf for the best quality products, value and knowledgeable service in the golf industry. As the premier golf franchisor in the world, Pro Golf franchisees are recognized throughout the golf industry as highly successful, customer-focused retailers with a passion for the game of golf."

About Pro Golf:
Headquartered in Farmington Hills-Michigan, Pro Golf has 123 franchised locations, growing throughout the United States, Canada and Ireland. Visit www.progolf.com to find a nearby Pro Golf store to visit; in addition, you will discover a top-rated internet shopping experience offering a broad array of golf equipment, clothing and sporting goods.

The Pro Golf website, which went off-line in 2008, stated: “With over 40 years of experience, Pro Golf is the oldest, as well as the largest golf retailer in the world….Pro Golf has been named the #1 Franchisor in the Golf Stores category by Entrepreneur magazine 13 times in the last 16 years. We have also been named the Top Golf Retailer by Franchise Times Magazine for the past 12 years.”

However, in 2008 warnings began to appear on RipoffReport.com and other Internet sites disputing the Pro Golf of America corporate hype.  In February, 2008 one commenter posted:  “In the year 2004 Pro Golf opened 20 new stores. Only 4 of those stores are still in business today. Many former Pro Golf owners are now personally bankrupt.”

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4 thoughts on “PRO GOLF OF AMERICA Franchise Ends in Chapter 11 Asset Auction

  • February 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm
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    Pro Golf is the biggest scam I have ever heard of. They promised everything and delivered nothing! I almost lost everything because of their con! Once the Franchise fee was paid I would only hear from them when I did not pay them additional commissions. They did the a business plan for me to take to the bank and it was full of bull. They told me that the only way I could get the big name brands was to franchise with them. Then when I tried to get these brands I was told by some of them that because I was a Progolf Franchise they could not open me.

    They are all liars and cheats!

  • May 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm
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    As I am mentioned above, I want to make it perfectly clear to all that I was never an owner or investor in this enterprise. I was brought on board to fix a mess that was left by previous owners and their management.

    Unfortunately for the remaining franchisees and myself, the new ownership was under capitalized and the downturn in the economy hit at the same time creating a “perfect storm” for lack of a better explanation.

    The entire golfing industry was hard hit due to the recession, and we all know that golf is a highly discretionary expenditure, and even people that were not personally affected by the downturn slowed their purchasing habits. This impacted the entire retail golf sector, but especially an under capitalized business.

    No one wanted this brand to succeed more than me, and this was very difficult time for all involved. For what was once a great retail brand, this was a very sad time for all.

  • Pingback:PRO GOLF Franchise Complaints : Unhappy Franchisee

  • November 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm
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    Everyone associated with Pro Golf of America Inc.. including you Frank should be ashamed of yourselves. Bunch of crooked, cheating thieves.

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