Houston Lake Country Club in Perry sold to Houston native

lmorris@macon.comMay 10, 2013 

For the second time in its nearly 50-year history, Houston Lake Country Club in Perry has been sold.

Mark Byrd, president of Byrd & Co., bought the 400-acre country club from Chris and Beth Murman. The property includes an 18-hole golf course, practice green, driving range, full-service restaurant and grill, swimming pool and a nearly 200-acre lake, Chris Murman said.

The Murmans have owned and operated the property at 100 Champions Way since 1986.

“It was not even for sale,” Murman said. “(Byrd) is a friend of mine. We’ve known each other for a long time, and we just came to an agreement.”

He declined to disclose the terms of the sale.

Murman said he will remain involved with the club in a consulting and advisory role to help in the club’s transition and future growth.

An attempt to reach Byrd late Friday was not successful. Murman said Byrd is a native of Houston County and primarily is a real estate investor and land developer.

In a news release, Byrd said he plans to build on the reputation that Houston Lake has earned over the years.

“We also want to look for ways where we can add value by offering more options to our members and customers,” he said.

Byrd plans to retain the 40-45 employees at the property, Murman said.

Since Byrd’s family are longtime members of the club, “Byrd grew up at the club, and he’s passionate about it,” Murman said. “He doesn’t want to come in and change everything ... just take it to the next level.”

Murman said he had an opportunity to sell the property to someone from out of state several years ago.

“The good fit for this is somebody who’s intelligent, capable and local,” he said. “And that’s just a great fit for the community.”

The Murmans bought the property from former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn of Houston County and other investors who built the club in 1965 as a way to attract industry to the area, Murman said.

Golf Georgia magazine has named the club one of the Top 10 semiprivate clubs in Georgia.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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