MacGregor shut down leaves county with trouble - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MacGregor shut down leaves county with trouble

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Jeff  'Bodine' Sinyard Jeff 'Bodine' Sinyard
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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Chairman of the Dougherty County Commission and the Payroll Development Authority called out the owners of an Albany company. He says like thieves in the night, they took jobs from the Albany community and left us holding a bag of debt.

In June, Golfsmith International Holdings bought the MacGregor name. But it wasn't yet known how that purchase would impact employees. Just a few weeks later, without warning, everyone at the Albany plant was suddenly out of a job.  (To clarify, Golfsmith bought only the brand name.  They did not buy any assets associated with the building, and did not purchase the business itself.  See below a statement from the company.)

Jeff Sinyard said, "There was even a sandwich left on a desk."

Now, the city is responsible for paying back more than a million dollars in bond money on the building. The Payroll Development Authority is currently trying to clean up the inside, landscape the exterior and get the building ready to market to another company.

EDC President Ted Clem said, "Our goal is to get it ready for market by the end of this year and get this listed and on our website and hopefully we'll get some interest."

But the interest right now is adding up on what the community will be responsible to pay. There's the bond that has to be repaid, power and insurance on the building. Plus there are records and equipment at the building. No one knows who they belong to.

Sinyard said, "The previous owners of MacGregor continue to elude us, continue not to deal with us, we're taking some very aggressive stances with our attorneys to bring this to a resolve." 

Sinyard said, "To say that we're disappointed about MacGregor is an understatement. They were literally thieves in the night. Their new ownership were thieves in the night."

The Payroll development Authority plans to have the building cleaned and back into marketable shape within the next 60 days, to try to bring back more job opportunities to that site.

If the PDA maintains the building for the next 12 months, they estimate it will cost approximately $140,000.

Below is a statement from Golfsmith International in its entirety:

Golfsmith International, Inc. contacted WALB-TV after hearing about the communities issues with MacGregor. "The entire Golfsmith organization sympathizes with the Albany community and the job losses and other problems caused by the closing of MacGregor Golf. Indeed, Golfsmith has also had its difficulties communicating with the owners of the MacGregor name.  Golfsmith hopes that its investment in MacGregor's intellectual property will allow it to continue the proud legacy created by the MacGregor brand and the Albany community", stated David Lowe, Golfsmith's Vice President of proprietary brands. 

"MacGregor, is one of the oldest golf companies in the world, with over 100 storied years of experience making the best in class golf equipment. The Albany community must  be proud of its place in golf history - MacGregor golf has been the product behind a record 59 wins in golf's major championships.  And while it is no solace to the community during these times of difficulty, Golfsmith believes that continuing the legacy of this great American brand is important to the community, golf, and the country."

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