Edwin Watts Golf Shops enters Chapter 11; plans to sell company

Fort Walton Beach, Fla. -- Edwin Watts Golf Shops on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware, with the intention of selling the operating assets of the business.  

The company, owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, listed estimated liabilities and assets of $100 million to $500 million.

All parties involved hope to have a Court approved sale transaction closed before the end of the year. Pursuant to the transaction, a significant number of Edwin Watts stores are expected to continue operating.  Final store counts have not yet been determined.

Edwin Watts president and CEO John Watson noted that the decline in the golf industry over the past five years has resulted in extremely sluggish consumer demand and that it experienced a particularly challenging first half of 2013 due to poor spring weather, the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the northeast and a poor Florida golf season. Year over year golf rounds were down nearly 15% in early 2013, according to the National Golf Foundation.  These challenges, Watt said, have led to a further erosion of the company's financial position during 2013.

Edwin Watts Edwin Watts operates 90 stores across 15 states. The bulk of its retail footprint is in the Southeast U.S., with 32 stores in Florida and 12 stores in Georgia.