Hi everyone. My name is Jay, I’m a first time poster, just joined. I know this is mainly a forum for golfers, and I’m looking for a forum for golf course owner/operators, but I couldn’t find one. So I figured I would post here...
My family has had a business since the 70’s located right next door to a nice little 9 hole Par 3 course. Growing up as a kid always at my family’s business, I got to know the course really well. It kind of has a special place in my heart. I’ve gotten to know the owners really well through the years too.
The course always did well. I remember seeing people lining up to tee off. It was nothing special but a simple little par 3 that everyone liked. Recently however the owner who is reaching his late 80’s, has been looking towards retirement. So the last few years he has been letting some things go. He didn’t want to put a lot of money into the place only to retire soon. This past year he finally decided he was too old to keep going there every day and called it quits to retire.
Having liked the course so much, I went to talk to him. I offered to operate the course for him. We came to an agreement. The rent is very low, he really doesn’t want much. At this stage of his life he is not looking to make much money, he’s more happy to see that someone will be continuing the legacy of his course and looking after it. His dad built it in 1961, and shortly after his dad built it he has been going there everyday. He wants me to toss a couple bucks his way every month and pay for my utilities and that is it. He had two guys who did all the maintenance on it. I plan on keeping them on. I’ve met with them and they are honestly more interested in the welfare of the course rather than their own wages. They are very dedicated and have a long connection with the course. I have full faith that they are decent men to keep on while I run the course.
As as far as what I need to do to get the course going... the greens got infested with grubs last year. Seeing as he was planning on retiring, he did not treat them for grubs. The grubs did major damage to almost all the greens. I have to remove the dead grass, aerate, apply the grub treatment, and reseed. The owner has enough seed to reseed all 9 holes, plus sand and some fertilizer. I will have to buy the grub treatment, some fertilizer, rent an aerator, and that’s about the extent of my expenses. I am doing the work myself which will cost me a little under 1,000 dollars to do.
I have posted locally on Facebook about restoring the course and reopening it and have gotten an unbelievable positive reaction from everyone in the community. I plan to have it open around the end of April / early May.
In my personal opinion from what I have witnessed in years past and what I have been seeing on social media about restoring the course, I believe it will be able to make a strong come back. I want to see what kind of profit it turns this year, and depending on such, I am thinking of buying it.
The asking price is 2.4 million. Obviously I would need to try to get a loan. I don’t know how difficult that will be. I do not have a lot of money to put down, but I do have collateral. Obviously the property the course sits on (24 acres), plus I have 24 acres of commercial property that my family’s business sits on that I could put up.
Im curious what everyone’s opinion is on the viability of buying this course. This is in PA so we do get some snowy winters, however when we get nice days over winter when the snow is melted, there’s always a handful of people out on the course playing.
If anyone has any input on this I’d be curious to hear it. Do you believe it would be a good business decision to purchase it providing it does well? I planned at some point in the future once I started generating revenue, to add a miniature golf, and an actual concession that served decent food. I also planned on adding a few sand traps. I just don’t know how hard it is to get financing for a golf course and whether or not it is a smart decision to buy it, or if I’ll be paying so much I’ll have no hope of seeing my money back.
Any input would be apprediated!