White Horse golf course to reopen under management of American Marine Bank

Five days after shutting down and sending home its employees with pink slips, the financially beleaguered White Horse Golf Club may reopen Tuesday.

American Marine Bank has taken over management of the golf course, along with more than 150 undeveloped residential properties next to the course, bank Senior Vice President Judy Thorpe said Monday.

The golf course and development are in arrears to the bank for more than $5 million.

White Horse Golf Director Bruce Christy said the golf course had done well since opening it 2007. However, the housing development it is linked to has struggled in a slumping real estate market.

Christy said his crew should have the course ready for play by Tuesday afternoon.

"Everyone is excited to be back to work," Christy said.

It was closed Thursday without prior notice to workers and homeowners. Thorpe said the course hired back four workers, the normal staffing level for the fall season.

Owner Bob Screen filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for both the golf club and White Horse Development Co. in August. The companies owed more than $5 million to American Marine Bank, according to a foreclosure document filed in May. A call to an attorney representing Screen in the bankruptcy has not been returned.

Thorpe said the bank will be looking for a new owner for the golf club and property once Screen's bankruptcy filing has been resolved. In the meantime it has hired Touchstone Golf company to manage the course.

"Clearly our first goal, 100 percent, was to get it back open," Thorpe said.

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