The members of Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks didn't need Robin Hood to steal from the rich in order to buy their club from billionaire David Murdock.
They received a loan from Encino-based California United Bank for $14 million to buy the club from Murdock in a deal that closed in July.
By buying up all unsold memberships, the members achieved ownership of the club. Once that happened, a four-month drive added nearly 100 members, bringing total membership to 350. The revenue generated by the drive will allow Sherwood to pay back most of the loan when new members are officially added in January.
"Getting 100 members in that short of a period is nearly unheard of," said Peter Wagner, president of Sherwood Country Club. "It was important to help us break even as a business."
Membership costs $200,000, but was temporarily reduced by 20 percent to spur sales. The drive helped development in other ways, especially by generating interest in the housing development. Castle & Cooke Inc., Murdock's real estate development company, still owns the Sherwood housing development.
"We separated the club from Murdock on very friendly terms," Wagner said. "They have seen a jump in home interest and attribute that to our membership drive."
The site is home to 165-acre Lake Sherwood, which got its name because the 1921 film version of "Robin Hood" was filmed at the site.
The area has attracted many celebrity residents and homes in the area sell for as much as $25 million.
The club features a Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course and is home to Target World Challenge golf tournament. Despite the $5.75 million purse, the event, which is hosted by Tiger Woods, is not a moneymaker for the club. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Tiger Woods Foundation.
The event's contract runs through 2009 and the club wants the tournament to stay there.
"We are going to sit down with Tiger after the tournament and talk about extending the contract," said Wagner.
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