I think these guys will buy anything they think they can buy at a deep enough discount. I mean anything. Look at the pattern of asset buying by FIG. They bought the bankrupt MMA railroad among other things.
If you check out FIG's recent purchase of the ski resorts and subsequent spin off (symbol SNOW), then NCT's purchase of the golf courses would fit. I would think of the demographics which affect skiers would not be as good as the demographics that impact golfers.
I know a lot more older golfers than I know older skiers. If most of the courses are in areas where we would like to spend more time (Scottsdale ,right Aghfella?) then the golf purchase makes more sense long term.
If they really want to think that long term, what is the selling price if farm land in California's central valley with the water issues they have there? Couple that with FIG's Infrastructure fund. Try remediating or developing water infrastructure, and what would be the long term benefits of that. China is doing it as we speak. Also, how much water do you think a golf course uses? Water and land.
Golf courses can be watered with "grey water", ie non-potable water. Several golf courses in the San Francisco Bay Area in California use recycled wastewater from the main sewage plant.
You forget in their CC they stated there was a .04 cent charge for costs related to the NRZ spin off and uninvested cash. In effect that would mean they would have had a 20% earnings BEAT (instead of .08 it would have been .12). To what information of a downgrade are you referring, and without any supporting links or reference? I can say the same thing about an upgrade but I have supplied a reason for my statement.
I suspect these courses were picked up on the cheap as a result of the brutal drought in California where many of these courses are located. Although the drought will certainly end one day, hopefully sooner, the State is under pressure to divert scarce water resources to the farming industry which could have a detrimental impact upon recreational activities such as golf courses which will be given a lower priority.
If you can buy it at a deep enough of a discount, you can make money! I am not too worried about the golf courses as they typically entail alot of land. Some of this land is probably pretty valuable. If the appeal of golf diminishes or other uses have greater demand, then the land is available. Besides at such a discount, its only a matter of imagination as to how to unlock the value.
A quick check indicates most are in California and the Atlanta, Georgia area. There was one in Michigan and a few in New York. A couple of country clubs also noted. I had neither time nor inclination to look into the financial stability of this bunch. Golfing has slumped since the recession but weekends are still crowded most courses, so, as a senior, I tend to go early during the week for better use of my time.