Derrick Bernosky tees off while golfing at the Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono in this 2017 file photo. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

The new owner of an Orono golf course that sold last month is a longtime Bangor-area real estate developer who has owned a number of properties in the Bangor and Portland areas.

Larry Springer purchased the Penobscot Valley Country Club on Route 2 in March, he confirmed Tuesday. Neither his identity nor the sale price was released when news of the sale broke.

The course’s previous owner, Penobscot Valley LLC, and its operator, Resurrection Golf LLC, had been looking for a new owner since 2020.

Springer’s holdings over the years have included a 10-story building on Portland’s Congress Street and a 600-car parking garage on Cumberland Avenue in Maine’s largest city. In the Bangor area, Springer has owned the former headquarters of Cross Insurance on Gilman Road, a Bangor waterfront building that’s now part of the Bangor Savings Bank campus, a Thatcher Street warehouse and other properties.

Springer took an initial look at the Penobscot Valley Country Club when it was listed for sale and was interested. But then the property was tied up as another investor negotiated a deal that ultimately fell through, he said. 

Springer made an offer when he saw the property was still available, he said.

“I liked the property and everything about it,” Springer said. 

As part of the sale, Springer agreed to lease the property to Resurrection Golf, which will continue to run the course and clubhouse. When he first looked at the property he thought about leasing out just the golf course, but ultimately this was the best move, he said. 

While not a golfer himself, Springer said he might take to learning the sport on his new property. But the real reason behind the investment was to help Resurrection Golf clear past debts owed on the property, he said. Proceeds from the sale went toward paying off debt.

“All I did was make an investment and bought it, and hopefully they’ll do well,” Springer said. “I see the value there and the property is beautiful. I want them to succeed, that’s for sure.” 

Sean McCarthy, the course’s operations director, said in March that a significant amount of holdover debt tied up the company’s ability to continue to improve the course. Under the new arrangement, the path is clear for Resurrection to continue to make big improvements to the golf course. 

For now, McCarthy and his team are focused on improvements to the course’s turf and bunkers, and expect to make other improvements under the new ownership arrangement, he said.

“Both parties are interested in the property, being an important one in the Orono area,” McCarthy said last month. “We’re both of the same mindset that we want to make sure that we can continue to have that gem up there in Orono.” 

The course was designed by famed golf course architect Donald Ross in 1924 and has been a golfing destination in the area ever since.

Penobscot Valley LLC acquired the golf course from Harris Golf Inc. in 2017. Harris Golf had not paid its property taxes to the town of Orono since 2015. 

Harris Golf Inc. purchased the property for $3 million in 2007.

While Springer confirmed he is the new owner of the course, he declined to disclose the final sale price of the property. 

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Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...