Investors Giving Struggling Courses a Makeover

If you live in a small city or village, chances are you have seen or played a golf course on its last legs. The wake of a struggling economy has driven many amateur players from the game, leaving many courses in the proverbial dust.

According to a recent report in the New York Times, there may be a new hope for struggling golf courses across the country.

As the article suggests, many investors are scooping up struggling country clubs and municipal courses with the intention of giving them a makeover and boosting their value. Aesthetic looks aren’t the only things getting a fresh coat of paint, either. Many courses are undergoing a complete business model overhaul thanks to their new fat-walleted owners.

Why are these courses struggling? It is easy to blame the country’s recent recession. Changes in family dynamics, retirement habits and cost-conscious consumers also contribute. However, the Times piece suggests that courses incurring bad debt as a result of poor business management is the main culprit.

A golf course’s value is a hard thing to pinpoint and predict, especially in today’s economy. Changes in the housing market, increasing water maintenance costs and other factors make value estimates a shot in the dark for many owners. Couple that uncertainty with an expensive business loan and you’re going to start seeing a lot of red numbers (and I don’t mean under-par).

With any luck, the changes being implemented by willing investors may be exactly what the golf industry needs.

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