Just four months after opening Mahan Manor Golf and Hunt Club in Winchester, owner Bart Mahan is putting it up for auction.
"It was supposed to be fun, and it was more work than fun," Mahan said Wednesday.
The club and its nine-hole course kicked off its operation in September with big fanfare amid appearances by professional golfers John Daly and J.B. Holmes. The course is closed for winter through February but will reopen in March and continue to operate through the on-site auction, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 13.
Mahan said he would like to stay a member of the club, assuming the buyer would continue to operate it. The club so far has 30 members, he said, though he declined to discuss its finances.
The course and club will be one of four tracts put up for auction as part of the sale. The first, 205 acres, includes the nine-hole course, 3,500-square-foot log-cabin clubhouse, golf cart and equipment barns, five ponds and an octagon hunting tree house. The remaining tracts range from 5 to 11 acres.
The estimated value is $7 million, said Jim Halfhill of Jim Halfhill Auction Group at Rector-Hayden Realtors, who will manage the auction.
Citing the economy, Halfhill said the property will be for sale for $4.9 million through the date of the auction. If it's not sold before then, bidding will begin at $1.5 million. Halfhill said the goal is to have the sale in place before the coming golf season in case the buyer wants to continue to operate the course.
"It's a really special property," Halfhill said.
Mahan said he had put more than four years of work and planning into the property before deciding to put it up for sale. The golf course was the latest venture for a businessman who is well-known around Central Kentucky for the companies he's started.
Among them are dental supplier Ryker Dental Corp., which he co-founded in the 1980s and sold in 1994. He also founded Buggys Unlimited in 1997 and sold it in July 2008.
"I just haven't had time to do the things I think I've earned the opportunity to do," he said, adding he views this as a retirement and would like to spend more time traveling and his winters in Florida.
For information on Mahan Manor, visit www.mahanmanor.com. Details of the property auction will be available beginning Feb. 15 on www.rhr.com.