FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Golf Club Consulting, Inc.
Richard N. Eide, Principal
831 Westbank Road
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
“Golf Courses: Owning, Operating and Investing"
Glenwood Springs, CO (June 1, 2008) – Richard N. Eide, Principal of Golf Club Consulting, Inc. was interviewed by NuWire Investor about investing and operating golf properties. Below is a transcript of the interview and is released with the permission of NuWire Investor.
Written by: Cali Zimmerman
There are more than 17,000 golf courses in the U.S., and with a growing number of baby boomers reaching retirement age it may seem like putting money into a golf course or community would be a worthwhile investment. But owning and operating a golf course isn’t all fun and games. An investor looking to create or buy a golf course needs to consider how to make the course appeal to players and whether or not the course can sustain itself in the current market.
Owning a golf course may seem like a fun investment idea, but investors need to be prepared for the amount of work and money their course will require.
Golf based communities typically offer larger returns than standalone golf courses, according to Richard Eide, principal of Golf Club Consulting, Inc. “Margins are very tight in the golf business; there’s lots of competition....A standalone golf course is a pretty tough deal to do now,” he said.
Investors also have the option to either invest in the development of a new golf course or to purchase an existing course. Because the golf industry has been overbuilt, most investors would probably be wise to focus on rehabilitating existing courses rather than creating new ones.
“To build a golf course you’ll be spending $6 to 10 million,” Eide said. “You can buy an existing golf course for half that."
“Florida, in particular, has been overbuilt when it comes to golf courses. The state was once an ideal place for golfers, but now hundreds of courses are struggling to meet expenses and are shutting down. However, other areas in the country have markets for golf which are not as saturated.”, he added.
“[The golf market] kind of parallels the growth of the population,” Eide said. “They have the most demand in such states Minnesota and in the Upper Midwest...but you don’t see the growth in those parts of the country because of the seasonality. Phoenix has been pretty strong. Texas is overbuilt in places. [Golf is popular] where the population is more athletic.” The top three North American golf markets in the 1990s were San Diego, Chicago and Toronto.
A typical 18-hole golf course requires approximately 150 acres of land, though this can vary depending on the type of terrain, according to Eide. Typical green fees for public courses and semi-private clubs range from $30 to $100, depending on location, while club memberships can be $100 to $600 per month or more. The quality of a course comes down to layout, playability, aesthetics, condition and amenities.
“Layout is how well the holes mesh with the natural elements of the landscape. Playability is essentially whether the course is laid out in a way that is challenging but fair, and whether it offers a pleasing round to players of wide-ranging abilities. Aesthetics is about the views; for example, if the houses are too close to the fairways, I might be a little critical, but course condition are always important,” he said.
Golf courses are hands-on investments, and investors should be prepared to act not only as the owner but as the manager. Ultimately, a golf course is not the prime option for investors looking to make a quick buck. Operating expenses and other concerns that do not come into play with other investments—such as the effect of unpleasant weather—can have a major effect on the industry. But for those with a love of the game and a willingness to put in the necessary work, a golf course could prove to be a great investment.
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Company Information: Golf Club Consulting, Inc. is a Colorado based company that assists owners or developers of new or existing golf facilities. Specialized expertise is with turf grass agronomy, golf course maintenance, feasibility studies, due diligence of course acquisitions and project development. For more information, contact Richard N. Eide at 970-384-2069 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The company website is www.golfclubconsulting.com.
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Golf Club Consulting, Inc.