Lamberson ends negotiations with Vaubel, closes Fallbrook Golf Club

Negotiations between owner Jack Lamberson and prospective buyer Harold Vaubel regarding the purchase of Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc. came to an abrupt end Tuesday morning when Lamberson demanded that Vaubel, who had been operating the course since July 1, leave the property immediately.

Lamberson then informed workers that Vaubel had employed that he was closing the course.

“The golf course is closed due to negotiations,” said Lamberson when contacted at the course Tuesday.

Lamberson has been trying to sell Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc. for more than two years and this is the third time this year he has announced he is closing the course. On March 5 he had signs posted stating he was closing the course on March 14. A few days later, he changed his mind. He most recently closed the course on June 25.

On June 28 Vaubel, who does business as HGM Golf Enterprises, LLC, announced that he had reached an agreement with Lamberson to purchase Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc. Vaubel reopened the course on July 1, stating that Lamberson had allowed him to do so while lawyers on both sides worked out the details of completing the sale.

Lamberson said Tuesday that he never told Vaubel that he could reopen the course – “only that he could water the greens and tee boxes” – and that he broke off negotiations with Vaubel due to financial concerns.

“We have terminated all negotiations with Harold Vaubel,” said Lamberson. “He’s been under orders to quit operating illegally here and has failed to do it. He had no authority to run it at all. The only thing we allowed was for him to resume watering.

“I broke off the negotiations because he’s not solvent,” continued Lamberson. “He can’t verify funds.”

Lamberson said Vaubel told him during their meeting on Tuesday, June 28, that he would have the money on Friday, July 1.

“He was supposed to have everything together – the agreement – and pay us off by Friday and he didn’t,” said Lamberson. “Then he was going to pay us the next Friday, then the next Friday, and then the next Friday. He hasn’t got the money.”

The employees that Vaubel hired reportedly had to wait several days after the scheduled payday to receive their paychecks, and a consultant said he has yet to be paid for services rendered.

Cary Lee, owner of the golf construction company Candylgolf Group, Inc., was hired by Vaubel to work on repairing the course. Lee said he worked on the course for two weeks and then ended his relationship with Vaubel “about two weeks ago” when he became concerned about getting compensated for his work.

“My relationship with Harold started to go south when I asked him when I was going to get paid,” said Lee when contacted by phone Tuesday. “Harold owes me money. He said he was going to send me a check and I still haven’t received it.”

Vaubel reportedly headed back to his home in Arizona after being ousted by Lamberson Tuesday morning. At deadline time for this article (2 p.m. July 26), Vaubel had yet to return a morning phone call from the Village News.

Lamberson now finds himself in a familiar position – looking for a buyer for Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc.

“I have alternatives, a couple or three alternatives,” said Lamberson. “I have another client that’s interested and I’ll immediately go back into negotiations with them. I also have to negotiate with the people that have the paper.”

The “paper” is the note on 116-acre golf course property. D-Day Capital, LLC, a debt purchasing company owned by Beverly Hills attorney Ronald Richards, purchased the note from First National Denver bank on June 28 – the same date the ill-fated agreement between Vaubel and Lamberson was made.

 

24 Responses to "Lamberson ends negotiations with Vaubel, closes Fallbrook Golf Club"

  1. Dusty   July 26, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I knew there was trouble with such a lengthy delay in securing the final sale.

    Hopefully one of the other buyers, ready to move in and take this over as the successful golf course it is capable of being, will step up quickly to keep the greens from going brown once again. Ideally both the seller, and buyer, will work to simplify and expedite the sale process.

    Reply
  2. SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com   July 26, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    We hope for an experience golf course operator to step forward soon! For more on this issue, visit, SaveFallbrookGolfCourse.com. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Brad Jordan   July 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    “I’m shocked I tell you, shocked!” If that line doesn’t sound familiar, watch Casablanca and the casino scene when the inspector is dismayed there is gambling and then a worker gives him his winnings. I digress though. Nothing about this whole sordid affair is shocking any more. I don’t know if we should believe a word that Jack says. It is always someone else’s fault. He may be right this time. But he has consistently been as full as a Christmas goose, or so the expression goes. We will see what happens next. If Jack has any brains he will not let the greens die. If they do the value of the course will degrade even further, if that is possible.

    Reply
  4. Angry daughter   July 27, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Besides Mr. Lee there’s about a dozen of workers that have not recived two pay checks my father being one of them.That’s ridiculous,dishonest and complete cheat of these men who have been working out in the blazing hot,working with their hopes up that the Fallbrook Golf Course will reopen I wonder now who will be responsible for the pay MR jack or Mr Harold or will they play the he said no you said game???!’

    Reply
  5. The Real Problem   July 27, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Unfortunately you can’t believe anything that Jack Lamberson says, he always has some back door shady deal going on. He has lied to the community and his employees to many times to count. He does not care about that golf course, the community, or his employees.
    He treats the greenskeeper crew like slaves and expects them to work 7 days a week, and has lowered their pay multiple times.
    He has the other golf course workers take the brunt end of all the players frustrations and then lies to their face.
    He is going to do everything he can to sell the golf course to a development company because that is where he will make the most money, which is all he has ever cared about.
    If he stays the owner and the current manager stays in charge that place will never make it as a golf course. He promotes lazy incompetent people, and lays off intelligent hard working employees.
    I really do hope that someone will step in and return Fallbrook Golf Course back to it former glory, but to do so they will need to get rid of all management that is currently there.

    Reply
  6. JD   July 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Lets face it…the course is dying a slow death. The best we can hope for now, ( as local residents around the course ) is that the county turns it into a park. Development would be the next best…much better than a weed infested “mitigation” bank site. Very sad, but golf is shrinking, and it’s seems now unlikely that it will be sold and brought back. Shameful that Jack ever bought it in the first place, and he probably agrees now that he should not have. Thanks a lot Jack. You owe me 10% of my property value, that will now decline.

    Reply
    • jamesy   July 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      You know the amount of tax paid to this county by our local property owners, shouldnt we be getting some love back from them? I mean we barely get our roads paved and then its a crappy two-bit job. This “county” needs us waaay more than we need them… think about it… we’ve been getting short shrift for a long time.

      Reply
  7. Joker   July 27, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    You all are fools! Stop hoping for the best. Money talks and there’s none of that going around, so stop acting like you all care for the golf course!

    Reply
  8. Dusty   July 28, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I feel like the issues, the focus, hasn’t really changed that much. That is, the local residents would really like to find a buyer that will run it as a golf course, and we will work hard to try to help them make that golf course a success.

    Unfortunately, with the loan now owned by a company with a history in housing development, and the current owner having locked the doors and stopped all watering/landscaping/maintenance, it seems like the barbarians are now, more than ever, at the gate and their strategy to wait this out will have ultimately succeeded.

    Reply
  9. LM   July 28, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Don’t you find it odd that Jack cannot seem to make a deal work? He has had several offers, several negotiations etc… and all the deals seem to fall through!! Of course it’s not Jack’s fault (yea sure) Like one of the other posters mentioned that all Jack cares about is the coin. I do remember going to meeting with the save fallbrook golfcourse people it was mentioned that the golf course had to remain a golf cousre something that was written a long time ago (my memory escapes me at the moment here) So hoping that will be our saving grace. This Jack guy just need to go away take any price and walk. Let a new owner restore our golf course so you all can play again and us that walk and enjoy the greenery will have peace!

    Reply
  10. kma   July 29, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Doesn’t this Jack Lamberson also operate some kind of consulting business or accounting/bookkeeping business? Who in town has their books done by his firm?

    Reply
  11. Familia   July 30, 2016 at 9:12 am

    At the end of the day GOLF is not good business. Back in the day, people would be lining up to buy a golf course at ANY price, but not anymore. That’s just reality. There is NOT enough interest. As a player, golf is expensive but more than that, it’s very TIME CONSUMING. That’s not a good combination unless you don’t have bills or a family. These Fallbrook Golf course articles and comments are great, but they are NOT coming from a business point of view. It’s the simplest supply/demand business math equation in the world. Consider just these 4 facts (there are more, but just consider these 4):
    1. Lack of interest in Golf in general
    2. Size of Fallbrook
    3. Location of golf course (does anyone outside of Fallbrook know where the course is? We have been here two years, but prior to that, we had know idea this course existed)
    4. Oh yeah, and there’s PALA MESA (bonus)

    Solution: any solution will take a lot of $ beyond the purchase price and that’s a problem.

    My son plays golf and loves the Fallbrook golf course (he’s 10 years old) It’s location is convenient for me and the staff there have always been awesome to deal with. I just can’t see it making financial business sense for a REAL investor.

    There many more variables and uncontrollable influences to consider when it comes to this issue.

    I will get off my soapbox now. Live curiously and challenge all assumptions.

    All the best,
    Make Fallbrook Great Again 🙂

    Reply
  12. Concerned   July 30, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Turn it into a park or something that EVERYONE can enjoy, not just golfers. We have enough golf courses currently in Fallbrook.

    Reply
  13. Dusty   August 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Ummm, I believe we now have 0 golf courses in Fallbrook.

    Reply
  14. Dusty   August 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Oh, and by the way, those of us who live in Gird Valley know where it is.

    And, remember, it had a thriving bar and restaurant, once upon a time. There’s aren’t many of those nearly as local for us folks living on the Gird side of Fallbrook.

    Reply
  15. Fallbrookian in the Knolls   August 1, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    It seems like a more family-friendly enterprise is needed. What about miniature golf or something all Fallbrookians can enjoy (not just wealthy people with time to waste)?

    It would be wonderful to have the restaurant restored and have another event venue in town. Miniature golf, a spa, and a simple driving range would be so nice! Perhaps even a skate park for the kids tearing up downtown…

    Reply
  16. Dusty   August 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

    There are so many faucets to this.

    There are the nearby homeowners. Their homes overlook something that has (had) a natural beauty, which gave them park-like views that also happened to be a revenue stream for the business owner.

    The perception that golf is somehow the ‘sport of rich people’ seems a common misconception. With a set of thrift store clubs, the cost to play 9-18 holes seems quite reasonable these days.

    A business that has such close proximity to peoples homes has a unique symbiotic/interconnected relationship. The value of the neighbors homes, plus their overall “quality of life”, hinges greatly upon the success of that single large adjacent business. A riding tide lifts all boats…a golf course without water, or good leadership, sinks all homes.

    The 4 years of the Fallbrook Golf Course, under Jacks’ ownership, have resulted in a perception it cannot succeed. But, if one listens closely to how things were done, are being done, you will realize that it’s not necessarily the economy, or water shortage, that seems to be dooming the course. It is more the convoluted, self-serving and often disingenuous nature of the ongoing business dealings that seem to be occurring.

    Reply
    • Dusty   August 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      And ‘riding’ should be ‘rising’…..no edits allowed!

      Reply
  17. Dusty   August 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Whoops, that should be ‘facets’, not ‘faucets’.

    With all watering, on the course, having been stopped over a week ago, it was a Freudian slip.

    Reply
  18. Steve   August 2, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Golf as a dying business is not the answer here. Most golfers come from the business world so running a profitable golf course is not that difficult if you know what you are doing. Clearly, Jack does not have a clue about running a golf course or a bar since its decline is as evident as the greens nowadays.

    I don’t feel bad about the property values dropping since one of the main problems with the golf course over the last few years was with the local residents walking their dogs while we tried to play golf. It was getting worse every time I played which was annoying since there is dog park a few blocks away. Another issue exhibiting that Jack clearly had no clue about running a golf course.

    The course looks worse than ever now. I guess the best we can do is delay any plans Jack has and force him to sell to someone who cares about the community.

    Reply
  19. Dusty   August 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Steve,

    Yes, as there were less golfers on the course, the less-busy nature of the course made it more tempting for dog walkers. This is most prevalent at the end of the day, the assumption being that anyone playing through would have started by 5pm. Yes, I know the golfers have priority…but surely some compromise could have been reached.

    When Harold Vaubel was escorted off the property, July 26th, Jack announced he was “not putting another penny into the place”. That included immediately stopping the watering, which Harold had reinstated, as well as firing all the maintenance workers and putting padlocks on the doors.

    It now has been over a week without watering and I’m wondering what the owner of the bank note is planning to do. Typically, the bank would step in to preserve the asset, installing a management company to resume some base level up-keep that would help to maintain the value of the property. I have been told that Jack is knowingly in breach of the terms of his loan, since it requires he actively operate the golf course, and by closing the doors in this manner he has broken that requirement of the loan contract.

    Reply
  20. Clueless   August 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    For those of you that think Golf is good business, especially in Fallbrook: http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/nike-golfs-equipment-shutdown-has-ripple-effect-industry/

    Reply
  21. Emile Palmo   August 29, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Lamberson has been searching for a buyer for roughly two years. He closed the course briefly in March and stopped watering the greens, saying he could no longer afford to pour money into it. He quickly reopened the course, before shuttering it again in June.

    Reply
  22. Dusty   August 29, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I think “searching for a buyer” is too strong of a phrase to describe what happened.

    He’s claimed it has been for sale, for the last 2 years, but that he never listed it (and relied on word-of-mouth to have people find out that it was up for sale). He also said he never hired a realtor because ‘he didn’t want to pay a commission’.

    Also, when you’re selling a valuable asset, like a golf course, isn’t it in your best interest to continue actively maintaining it so it will look its best to a prospective buyer?

    Reply

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