Jump to content
IGNORED

How is the financial health of golf courses in your community?


Note: This thread is 3202 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Recommended Posts

There seem to be a few courses around here that are in financial trouble, but there are equally many that seem to do well. The one I've most recently visited was in such prime condition that it suggests that they are doing VERY well.

I have never had a problem with the old timers. They are polite and I return the favor by being equally polite. They never seemed to feel bothered by my presence. Maybe its because a lot of younger golfers want to race through the course, and they end up being visited by rangers as they are not as fast as perhaps they used to be. So animosity toward younger players that perhaps make them feel rushed doesn't seem unfounded to me. They are getting older and can't play as fast; seems the most logical reason why they would have a chip on their shoulder regarding "speed golfers."

Link to post
Share on other sites

My club has been losing members left and right. Five years ago we had around 500 members, currently at 240. We need 300 to break even without having to assess the members for the short fall. Another thing that hurt us was the city annexing our area which greatly increased our taxes.

We have basically had to go semi private and open the club up to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The extra revenue helps a little and the club is considering semi private through out the week. Not sure what else we can do as expenses have been cut to the bone. Amazing the grounds crew keeps the course in such good condition with what they have to work with.

Link to post
Share on other sites

two courses semi-private courses have been shut down here in central arkansas, though one was bought and re-opened as a private club.  it seems like the city-owned courses in little rock are doing okay, and private clubs seem to be doing alright, but the public munis outside little rock look like they're struggling a bit.  a lot of them, while still open, don't seem to have the money to maintain the courses like they want/need to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

it would seem here in south east Michigan, that fewer people are playing. the greens fee`s are the same so one could conclude that the courses are still on the profit side of the equation. i`m not sure if that is reality or just my misguided  opinion

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most are OK but we have so many courses in Central New York that I'm sure some are struggling.  One course in particular comes to mind.  It was once a private club in the not too distant past.  I was told that it was fairly exclusive for the area.  The course has a nice layout and sits on a hill with great views of the city and surrounding valley.  The club house was rebuilt after a fire maybe 15 or 20 years ago and it's really nice with a formal dining area, nice bar, and a pool.  The pool (i'm told) hasn't been opened in years.  This year the clubhouse was sold (maybe rented?) to a catering company along with it's parking lot.  Now golfers have to park on the side of the access road and pay greens fees at a snack shed along the road.  I went there with my wife last month, and..

1.  The bunkers were not maintained.

2.  The first cut of rough was 6" in a lot of places which was a bit ridiculous and not a lot of fun for my wife who quit at the turn and refused to continue.

3.  The coup de grace was when I ordered her an expensive hot dog at the turn and it was a cheap, disgusting no-name brand on a stale bun.  I think it was boiled or steamed because it definitely wasn't grilled.

The course is still selling memberships at a relatively inexpensive price but for a few hundred dollars more per year you can get memberships at courses that at least have a clubhouse and bar.  Anyone buying a membership would have to be afraid that the owner would declare bankruptcy and sell the property for high-end housing developments.  In my opinion, the course owner is probably just waiting for a turnaround in the housing market.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Club makes a significant amount every year. I think it has something like $20 million invested in long term assets. It's the most exclusive club in my state and always has a full membership base of about 750 male members.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is part of an article I wrote for the local daily paper in Sarnia, Ontario (Southwestern Ontario)

REFLECTIONS ON THE 2011 GOLF SEASON

Although we still have lots of golf left in October and November, it is time to think about the things that were good and the things that were bad during the golf season.

One of the worst things was the weather . A cold and wet spring followed by extreme heat hampered all golf courses in our area and have put many in financial straights. This is evidenced by courses like the Owen Sound Golf & Country Club which had its operations taken over by the bank in July and the financial institution is currently reviewing offers from potential purchasers. This is a case of an established golf club that was owned by an aging membership who had difficulty in attracting younger members while trying to keep membership pricing low. The fact that a great golf facility opened just down the lake (Cobble Beach) also took business away from the well-established Stanley Thompson-designed course. If a group makes a deal with the bank, you can bet that the club very likely will resurface as a public golf facility.

The downturn in the economy has hit locally too with the Ingersoll Golf and Country Club being offered for sale by its membership as the bank has called a loan that reputably is nearing the million dollar mark. Word on the street is there are a few interested parties so it is imagined that golf will continue at the club under new private ownership. The tough times are reflected in the shutdown of the curling operation at Heritage Heights in Petrolia and also there are rumblings that perhaps Blenheim Golf Club is having some financial worries. The fact that Gentleman’s Creek Golf Club near Melbourne has been turned back into pasture substantiates the industry’s woes. This has really been the year for panic in the golf industry and price wars like “golf with a cart for $20.00 plus a hamburger” attracts the customers but doesn’t pay the bills. If this type of promotion continues, I predict there will be more than leaves falling a year from now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I am also in TN but in the western part.  I have a few local courses here.  Two of them just replaced all their greens with Bermuda so they must be doing pretty well. One has been up and down and is now actually under new ownership.  They have lost their greens a couple of times but seem to be picking up a bit lately.  One of the courses has the benefit of living off a fund donated by a very wealthy man that passed away....a fund upwards of 10 million.  They also have the local (or used to) correction facility do a big portion of the grounds work for free.  That course is really nice and usually stays really nice no matter what.

With all that being said, you can tell the decline in play.  The courses are doing what they can but if people aren't playing like they were and we keep having such dry summers,  the maintenance costs are rising with less income to help balance it out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

The majority of the courses I play are in solid financial health, but I think that's a product of my geography. I'm in the middle of LA and there are so many people that the most popular public courses have a pretty consistent supply. That said, as you start to spread from the inner city, I think you find more and more courses struggling to get by. I've been told by a number of large golf management companies that they go into the red beginning in September. That means that even their Southern and Western courses can't make up the off-season losses bore by the Midwestern and Eastern state. Interesting for sure!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in difficult financial times, in South Africa as well, my home club, Randpark in Johannesburg, sporting two outstanding courses, namely Randpark Course (a championship course which has hosted the South African Open) and Windsor Park (a classic parklands course, currently being upgraded), has in 2010 put through more than 80 000 rounds between the two of the courses. That makes Randpark one of the most popular courses in South Africa, confirmed by a recent survey in the local Golf Digest. We have a fantastic management team and the club is going from strength to strength. Other upmarket clubs in Johannesburg, such as Bryanston, Houghton, Johburg CC Woodmead and Parkview seem to be doing very good as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My home club is on track to make a €100k loss this year. They are reducing the amount of staff for the winter months by a good bit to try and ease the problem a bit. Hopefully that doesn't affect the quality of the course too much........

Link to post
Share on other sites

The established courses around here (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) do alright, Calgary has a high average income and people like to spend there money. But just west of here in the Kootenay mountains of BC I know a few courses are struggling to avoid recievership. It seemed that during the boom years (07-08), every investor thought it would be a good idea to open a fancy golf course. There are a few in the $130+ green fee range that are farely new that are probably going to go under. It seemed they put alot of their eggs in the real estate basket and were hoping that everyone would want to buy a 350K+ home along side there fancy course. Well that didn't happen and now they can't make it alone on the green fees they bring in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

With the severe drought in Ohio this year, I'd be SHOCKED if the local courses were NOT losing money or breaking even.  Stated another way, it would be unbelievable if they were actually making money.

Wouldn't want to see their water bills...

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Administrator
Originally Posted by formula428

With the severe drought in Ohio this year, I'd be SHOCKED if the local courses were NOT losing money or breaking even.  Stated another way, it would be unbelievable if they were actually making money.

I think it's more the opposite: almost no days are rained out so golf courses are making money this year. If you can't make money as a golf course this year you should close up because you won't make it any year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

The game of Golf is thriving, unfortunately courses are not. The last time I saw the universities statistice, there were 30% more golfers in Canada than there was in the early 90's. For any sport this is tremendous growth. The problem is, there are also something like 65% more Golf courses. When the economy was stronger than ever, clubs could exist as private entities, and make more than enough to keep the club going very well. More disposable income meant people were travelling more, playing more golf, and spending more money. Especially in the southern USA, tourists alone made up a huge part of many clubs income.

Then the world was shattered. The market had to make a major correction. Jobs were lost hand over fist. Salaries dropped. People didn't have 100$ extra to play golf twice a week anymore, so they started playing once every second, or once a month, or could not afford to play at all. People could no longer pay their membership dues, so private clubs were hurt badly, and many of those golfers started playing at public courses instead. Since then, we've seen many people coming back, or enjoying the game for the first time. Club makers are selling more than ever in big box stores, though the pro shops are suffering. And there are just too many courses for all of them to stay afloat, so as more clubs close, the remaining clubs will see an increase in golfers, and within a few years, we'll be back to a more reasonable number of golf clubs, most thriving as long as they play fair with green fees and membership proces.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Note: This thread is 3202 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasfeb21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • From all I have read, any known long term effects of an mRNA vaccine manifests within the first two months. It does NOT affect genetic makeup since it never enters the nucleus.  Conditions/effects that manifest over longer periods of time are caused by repeat use at some frequency that builds up incrementally...like.. tobacco or your garden variety narcotics, lead, arsenic, etc. 
    • I read the whole thing. I am thinking a "whole enchilada" badge should be awarded!   Seriously, the experience is playing in a national NCAA championship. While D3 is not as competitive as D1 streaming live on the Golf Channel, it is still the national championship. While no one wants to see their kid card a double or triple to start their round, it is still the national championship.  Oh, and it is competition golf. Everyone knows what they signed up for. The player seemed to accept his fate, and the coach should know better. Sorry but even if you don't have a shot of advancing or winning, you still follow the rules and protect the field.     
    • I said in my post, let’s start simple with 2-years.         You call it stubbornness, I call it prudence. Others disagree with “pretty damn effective” against current variants, let alone those to come.   It’s also worth noting that different vaccines have different levels of effectiveness.   Where Do COVID Vaccines Stand Against the Variants? Drug makers scramble to adapt vaccines to coronavirus variants before they outwit our immune systems.     Again, your personal opinion. And yes, I read and understand the science as well.   Not necessarily. Oftentimes it was my duty to actually put people in harms way…    
    • Of course.  Almost all of us strive, through research and training and other methods, to stay alive.   Military or not.  But in the military you must be willing to put yourself in harm's way to protect your country.  The result could be your death.  When you go in you know this.
    • Debunking mRNA Vaccine Misconceptions—An Overview for Medical Professionals mRNA vaccines are designed to withstand many variants.  It is literally impossible to say what variants will arise though. To the third, why would that matter on whether you take it or not? If you take more, you take more.  I'd assume the first two questions are the key for you, the third is more curiosity.  Would the third be a make it or break it moment?  If anything, it could be yearly.  But the more people vaccinate, the less likely it is we'd need to take more.
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. MasonAsher2014
      MasonAsher2014
      (25 years old)
    2. Ryoung3555
      Ryoung3555
      (57 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...