Some golfers are disappointed that discount passes sold by Bath-based Harris Golf Inc. can no longer be used to play the award-winning Sunday River Golf Club course in Newry.
However, the passes can be used at other Harris Golf properties, and the company has promised a refund to at least one customer who called to ask for his money back.
Portland-based Newry Holdings LLC, the sole creditor on the property’s mortgage, took possession of the course Jan. 5, saying Harris Golf failed to make a required mortgage payment.
Newry Holdings then filed a lawsuit, alleging that SR Golf Holdings LLC and its parent company, Harris Golf, were refusing to hand over assets such as equipment and membership fees collected since the property was conveyed. Newry Holdings also is seeking $5.6 million in unpaid mortgage debt and property taxes, plus legal fees.
Harris Golf filed a counterclaim March 7 alleging that Newry Holdings and a previous creditor, Boothbay Pool I LLC, had violated a forbearance agreement that would have enabled SR Golf to use new financing to meet its financial obligations and retain ownership of the course.
Harris Golf has said it is giving refunds to couples who booked wedding parties at the Sunday River clubhouse this summer, and to golfers who had purchased memberships for the 2017 season. Harris Golf attorney Tom Hallett also said the multi-course “Preservation Pass” is still valid for use at other Harris Golf properties.
That angered longtime golfers Paul Raymond and Tom Maines, who said the only reason they purchase Preservation passes each year is to play at Sunday River.
Raymond, who lives in Topsham, said the other two Harris courses available for use with the passes don’t compare with Sunday River.
He bought four passes for $200 in December, each good for 18 holes at either Sunday River, Old Marsh Country Club in Wells or Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.
The passes were a great value with Sunday River included, but not without it, he said, noting that a full-price round of golf at the Sunday River club usually costs over $100.
Maines, who lives in Brunswick, also paid $200 for the same bundle of passes. He said he no longer wants them.
“The preservation passes were bought with the intent of playing at Sunday River – nowhere else,” he said.
Maines said he called Harris Golf seeking a refund when he first learned about the company’s ownership dispute, but he said no one returned his call.
But on Monday, Hallett told the Portland Press Herald that his client is committed to making all of its customers whole.
“If any preservation pass holders have complaints, they need only contact Harris Management’s offices,” Hallett said via email. “Any issues will be immediately addressed and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.”
After learning from a reporter about Hallett’s promise, Maines said he called Harris Golf again Tuesday and was offered a full refund after he refused an offer of additional passes.
The person said, ” ‘Mail those to me and I’ll refund the money,’ ” Maines said.
J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at: