Camp-Hill based Brown Golf merges with GreatLIFE Golf

Cris Collingwood//September 1, 2022

Camp-Hill based Brown Golf merges with GreatLIFE Golf

Cris Collingwood//September 1, 2022

Royal Manchester Golf Links in Mt. Wolf, York County, is one of GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness’s holdings – PHOTO/PROVIDED

Camp Hill based-Brown Golf merged with GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness of Topeka, Kansas, today creating one of the largest golf holding and management entities in the country, GreatLIFE said. 

With the merger, GreatLIFE Golf’s portfolio will include fifty-three golf courses and five gyms located in nine states under the GreatLIFE Golf brand. 

John Brown

John Brown, co-founder and CEO of Brown Golf, will assume the role of GreatLIFE Golf CEO, with Jason Harshbarger, co-owner and CFO of Brown Golf, assuming the role of GreatLIFE Golf CFO. 

 Collectively, the GreatLIFE brand will represent seventy golf courses, six of which are in Pennsylvania including Royal Manchester Golf Links in Mt. Wolf, York County; twenty-five gyms and one bowling center.  

 “Both our organizations have thrived the last several years,” said Brown. “We did not accept status quo. We’ve both pushed ourselves to invent better solutions – solutions that are better for our customers, and our bottom line.”  

“GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness and Brown Golf is a partnership for the future,” said Rick Farrant, founder of GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.  

“Brown Golf has the infrastructure for success and GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness has created a great brand and portfolio that we look forward to carrying forward via this merger under the GreatLIFE name. Now, we want to expand our portfolio and help more courses realize their potential,” he said.  

Golf courses have been closing faster than opening. According to a study from the National Golf Foundation, over 450 courses have closed in the past three years. GreatLIFE Golf is on a mission to turn the tide, Farrant said.  

“As golf owners and operators, we knew the problems facing golf courses, so we set out to solve them,” said Brown. “By building our own proprietary booking engine and technology solution GolfBack , we have given course owners and operators back their brand, their direct traffic, their profitability and their rounds of golf. The GreatLIFE Golf company will be fully supported by GolfBack’s technology delivering data collection, automated marketing, dynamic pricing and much more.”  

When asked what is next for the organization, Brown said the company will have two equally important goals.  

“First, growing the company’s management platform and portfolio with our current teams and partnerships. Delivering integrity, transparency, and innovation, while understanding the impact our client courses have on their communities. Second, acquiring new golf courses. We want to find the right properties to join our network of clubs and we are excited this merger has escalated our ability to do so,” Brown said.