EverBank Financial (EVER) is taking a swing at the golf equipment finance business.

In its ongoing effort to distinguish itself as a specialty lender, the Jacksonville, Fla., company announced Monday that it has established a golf lending division and that it has hired a team of lenders away from TCF Financial (TCB) to run it.

The unit will provide financing to major golf equipment distributors and their customers nationwide. It will be led by Tom Barber, a 30-year veteran of the leasing and equipment finance industry who was most recently the vice president of sales in TCF's golf equipment division. Joining Barber from TCF's golf unit are Adam Stout, Matt Stangl and John Michel.

The team will report to Sam Smith 3rd, managing director of EverBank Commercial Finance's Industrial Group.

"The addition of the golf equipment specialty to our vendor finance platform complements our strong position in the plastics, packaging, machine tool, food processing, construction, specialty vehicle and manufacturing segments of the industrial market," Smith said in a news release. "As interest in golf continues to grow in the U.S., we are very excited to have Tom and his talented team on board to help bring EverBank Commercial Finance's…lease financing solutions to the golf industry's leading distributors."

The expansion into the golf lending business is consistent with EverBank's strategy of diversifying its balance sheet, which is still heavily weighted toward single-family mortgages. In July the company announced that it was buying a commercial lending unit from GE Capital for nearly $2.5 billion. The unit, Business Property Lending, originates and services commercial real estate loans for properties owned or leased by small and midsize businesses.

The company, which raised $171 million in a public offering in May, also recently launched a wealth management unit as part of an effort to generate more fee income.

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