Benson firm gains golf club control

Soft Draw Investments LLC, a company owned by Gov. Craig Benson, has paid $1.1 million to take over total ownership of the troubled Golf Club of New England.

The agreement reached in U.S. Bankruptcy Court calls for the property to remain a golf course at least through November 2006.

Implementation of the plan includes proving to the court that the $1.1 million from Soft Draw Investments was available immediately to cover the money that was negotiated to be paid to anyone with a written claim against the club.

The majority of the claims, which total $21 million, are being paid at the rate of 25 cents for every $1 owed by the Golf Club of New England.

Benson’s Soft Draw Investments LLC was owed $19.8 million of the total amount.

The payment of the claims to Soft Draw will be covered by the transfer of the deed for the 450 acres that straddle the Stratham/Greenland town lines and ownership of the golf business, which includes an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course.

Of the 81 members of the club that were allowed to vote on the club’s bankruptcy reorganization plan, two voted to reject the plan, which stated that members could continue to use the club with some restrictions.

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