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Another Course Bites The Dust-Georgia


Headhammer

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Another Atlanta area golf course has fallen victim to developers as The Oaks course will be turned into a mixed used live/work community. This was one of the last reasonably priced muni's in the Atlanta metro area. It was on the short side, but the layout was fun and I always enjoyed my rounds there. Cheap Atlanta area golf is getting harder and harder to find. This is the 3rd Atlanta area course to close and become a housing development since I moved to Georgia.

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On 1/17/2022 at 9:10 AM, Headhammer said:

Another Atlanta area golf course has fallen victim to developers

No, no, its a good thing.  If you listen to the "experts",   "only" around 100 courses were expected to close in 2021.  Its demand for golf, leveling with the supply of courses.  RIGHT!!  But its inexpensive Muni's that comprise almost all of the closures.  The article I read actually tried to put a positive spin on "only 100 courses were going to close" It wasn't 164 like the year before, so that is good right.  I don't live in the area but travel there to golf, Farmstead in North Myrtle area closed also.

Maybe in 2022, ONLY 95 INEXPENSIVE MUNI'S WILL CLOSE!

Everyone hurts, and probably not in my time, but 30 years from now, probably have to be a member somewhere, in order to play.  I sure hope the golf experts are right about their seeming  indifference to course closures. 

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It's a bummer reading about these closures and trend; particularly if most are city/county owned courses under their parks & recreation umbrella. This is certainly NOT making golf more accessible (as in affordable) to a good many.  This is really bad since so much effort (i.e. First Tee, etc.) has gone into getting more kids, many from lower income households, into golf. 

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  • 1 month later...

Atlanta is not a place someone wants to plan a golf trip to. Terrible public golf, traffic is the worst and crime is right up there with Chicago. Just my opinion.

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10 hours ago, GaDawg said:

Atlanta is not a place someone wants to plan a golf trip to. Terrible public golf, traffic is the worst and crime is right up there with Chicago. Just my opinion.

I don't think anyone "plans" a golf trip to ATL, but having the busiest airport in the world people flying in/out a look for a place to play while in town. Additionally, during Masters week thousands of golfers are looking for places to play between the airport and Augusta. I don't disagree that the unbearable traffic & increased crime make it less desirable, and if I have to go west of Conyers I go kicking and screaming.  

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Just for comparisons sake, Cleveland Ohio had our 'armageddon' back in 2018. That year we lost about 20 public courses and 1 or 2 clubs. 

This off-season, we lost two courses. One was a Stanley Thompson design that is becoming an Amazon warehouse🙄. That one stings.

The other is a 36 hole course that is rerouting their old course and changing to 27 holes. There was a huge quality difference between the old and the new. Their new course is one of the nicest conditions around, but the old course they let go into a hack around with serious drainage issues close to a decade ago.

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2 hours ago, Headhammer said:

I don't think anyone "plans" a golf trip to ATL, but having the busiest airport in the world people flying in/out a look for a place to play while in town. Additionally, during Masters week thousands of golfers are looking for places to play between the airport and Augusta. I don't disagree that the unbearable traffic & increased crime make it less desirable, and if I have to go west of Conyers I go kicking and screaming.  

Most people that come in for the Masters, schedule golf northeast or east of Atlanta. Lake Oconee @ Reynolds (4-5 courses), Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Athens area, etc.

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2 hours ago, GaDawg said:

Most people that come in for the Masters, schedule golf northeast or east of Atlanta. Lake Oconee @ Reynolds (4-5 courses), Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Athens area, etc.

First time I came to the Masters, when I lived in DC, we played White Columns and Heritage Golf Club before heading to Augusta.

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Locally, we've lost four that I can recall over the past three years and another is closing soon. Two closed up right before COVID, one closed during 2020 and another closed after the 2020 season. Another just sold out this past offseason and 2022 will be its last season. I believe all five have been or will be developed into subdivisions.

Michigan obviously has/had a glut of courses compared to many areas, but the "affordable" and beginner-friendly ones are getting tougher to find. One of those that closed before 2020 was a favorite of my college roommate and mine. It was something like $12 for nine holes with a cart, and each time you went around they'd charge you less and less. I think we did 27 or 36 holes once, by the last time we went around they charged us like $2. It wasn't a nice course by any means but golf is golf! Another was a well-maintained par 60 executive that was great for people learning the game.

It takes a ton of work to maintain these courses and most of these closures are just from people who were tired of the hours and scraping by financially, unfortunately. The one that is closing soon has been doing great business but the owners want to retire and no one in their family wants to run it as a course. Naturally, it's worth a ton more as developable land than as a course.

I worry about my course. Thankfully the owner is mid-30s and seems to love what he does. It is also not particularly valuable land (literal farmland not that close to anything huge) at the moment, but that can change as more people seem to be building mansions in the middle of no where around here.

It's getting tougher to swallow watching these courses close because many rounds around here are now $50+ with a cart. A course I grew up near (and has now unfortunately been featured multiple times by the friggin' Fried Egg) is up to $48 to walk on a peak season weekend.

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Love my private course up in Cartersville, Cartersville Country Club. Some of the best greens in the state. 2 of Golf Digest top teachers in the Nation are out of CCC. You always see PGA, LPGA and Korn Ferry players out at the course. Hidden gem, I have been a member for almost 25 years.

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It's tough to see courses go, especially if you have an emotional attachment to them.  We've had our fair share of courses close in Maryland. Hopefully we won't lose any more.

 

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2 hours ago, edingc said:

Locally, we've lost four that I can recall over the past three years and another is closing soon. Two closed up right before COVID, one closed during 2020 and another closed after the 2020 season. Another just sold out this past offseason and 2022 will be its last season. I believe all five have been or will be developed into subdivisions.

Michigan obviously has/had a glut of courses compared to many areas, but the "affordable" and beginner-friendly ones are getting tougher to find. One of those that closed before 2020 was a favorite of my college roommate and mine. It was something like $12 for nine holes with a cart, and each time you went around they'd charge you less and less. I think we did 27 or 36 holes once, by the last time we went around they charged us like $2. It wasn't a nice course by any means but golf is golf! Another was a well-maintained par 60 executive that was great for people learning the game.

It takes a ton of work to maintain these courses and most of these closures are just from people who were tired of the hours and scraping by financially, unfortunately. The one that is closing soon has been doing great business but the owners want to retire and no one in their family wants to run it as a course. Naturally, it's worth a ton more as developable land than as a course.

I worry about my course. Thankfully the owner is mid-30s and seems to love what he does. It is also not particularly valuable land (literal farmland not that close to anything huge) at the moment, but that can change as more people seem to be building mansions in the middle of no where around here.

It's getting tougher to swallow watching these courses close because many rounds around here are now $50+ with a cart. A course I grew up near (and has now unfortunately been featured multiple times by the friggin' Fried Egg) is up to $48 to walk on a peak season weekend.

You hit it right on the head.  It's all economics.  One application of fertilizer on an average course is somewhere around $16k.  Course are not cheap to run and people don't want to pay greens fees that will support all the expenses and a reasonable profit for the owners.  I worked at a course in north Georgia that was barely breaking even for those exact reasons.  It had been owned by the same two individuals for many years.  When they finally decided to sell, golf course management companies were offerring them pennies on the dollar compared to real estate developers for the property.  They would have loved to sell it so that it stayed as a golf course, but financially it didn't make sense.  Developers had the land cleared within weeks of the closing.

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4 hours ago, jdennish said:

Love my private course up in Cartersville, Cartersville Country Club. Some of the best greens in the state. 2 of Golf Digest top teachers in the Nation are out of CCC. You always see PGA, LPGA and Korn Ferry players out at the course. Hidden gem, I have been a member for almost 25 years.

I have heard a lot of great things about your course. I lived in Marietta for 12 years, but never had the opportunity to play it.

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On 1/19/2022 at 2:12 PM, stuka44 said:

... probably not in my time, but 30 years from now, probably have to be a member somewhere, in order to play.  I sure hope the golf experts are right about their seeming  indifference to course closures. 

I totally agree, I think it will go full circle. Courses will start to become members only because financially it makes sense. Then when prices get too high someone will see the opportunity to open a more affordable course, see profits and others will follow suite. The same trend is occurring in Canada as valuable land is being converted from golf courses to mixed use developments, most of our cities are in support of it because it reduces urban sprawl. 😒

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Not to totally derail this topic but I think as land continues to get more valuable, courses need to figure out how they can preserve or increase their margins without over pricing the golf course. Labor costs are currently skyrocketing in every industry so golf courses will need to figure out how to maintain a course with less people. CAVEAT: I have never worked in golf course maintenance or management. However, to me, it seems like a lot of time, effort and money go into bunkering. And specifically fairway bunkers with large lips and tons of sand. To me, most courses should just have waste areas where there is just sand pack (especially under trees where grass cannot typically grow anyway). Keeping bunkers pristine and full of sand takes a ton of work and when the bunkers go downhill it's very noticeable and leads to tons of bad reviews for your golf course. 

Here in Nashville, most of the public golf courses are built in heavy flood zones so they aren't taking up developable land. Yes, it leads to soggy conditions but it's how we are able to have 4 pretty decent municipals (we have other municipal golf courses that are quite poor). Most of those courses do not have complicated bunkering but many of the traps around the greens have fallen into some disrepair. I would be good with letting them grass in some of them or just play the bunkers as waste areas where you can ground your club but knowing they will not be full of sand. The risk there is that, since the courses are in flood plains, the waste sand turns to mud. Just a thought but a golf course ultimately has to make money and to do that they have to maintain or increase their margin. I would think that most affordable golf courses that are at risk of getting developed should simplify their layouts. If you want to go play a course with deep bunkers everywhere go play a resort course that is propped up by huge greens fees and a large hospitality corporation. Just my opinion. 

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I read a news article about a month ago (Golf Digest?), that last year there was a much lower percentage of golf course turnover to development than in pervious years. But it wasn't but a week later that I also read that the California legislature want to push conversion of munis to housing. 

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43 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

I read a news article about a month ago (Golf Digest?), that last year there was a much lower percentage of golf course turnover to development than in pervious years. But it wasn't but a week later that I also read that the California legislature want to push conversion of munis to housing. 

So basically golf in CA moving towards private courses which, following the supply & demand model, will yield to higher prices and less opportunity for those living on more limited incomes.  How does that square with growing the game and getting minorities more involved?  I doubt the carbon footprint of all those houses will be less than the golf courses, so there must be some other motivation?  Like baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, dog parks, picnic areas, etc.,  that make up a city or counties parks & recreation holdings, it seems like golf is just getting the short end of the stick when it comes to these decisions.

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16 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

So basically golf in CA moving towards private courses which, following the supply & demand model, will yield to higher prices and less opportunity for those living on more limited incomes.  How does that square with growing the game and getting minorities more involved?  I doubt the carbon footprint of all those houses will be less than the golf courses, so there must be some other motivation?  Like baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, dog parks, picnic areas, etc.,  that make up a city or counties parks & recreation holdings, it seems like golf is just getting the short end of the stick when it comes to these decisions.

 A lot of nuance in here but they are wanting the land for houses. There is a housing shortage but taking golf is not the way to go about it. It was shot down before it made its way through but it will be back and it will be a fight for sure. 

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30 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

 A lot of nuance in here but they are wanting the land for houses. There is a housing shortage but taking golf is not the way to go about it. It was shot down before it made its way through but it will be back and it will be a fight for sure. 

I'll bet they're looking at RE tax potential - most likely more $$ from houses then golf course land. 

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28 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

I'll bet they're looking at RE tax potential - most likely more $$ from houses then golf course land. 

Of course it's all about the dollar. And even if it passes not all muni's will be gone, they are just removing their carve out and allow development of the land. I am not going to pretend that there isn't a housing shortage however like most things the powers that be are not attacking the correct way. Hell if they keep going with the water they way they are and the drought continues there will be so much land available to build on it will make your head spin. With that scenario everyone in the world will be paying outrageous prices for food so there will be no money for golf anyway. 

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Having lived in CA in the 70's and early 80', with absolutely no interest in doing so again, I'm not sure why this interests me save for the fact that I love golf and don't like the trend. That a bill aimed at "all" public owned golf courses was even drafted for consideration is lunacy.  We're not talking about a particular course where the trade study pencils out and clearly justifies a closure, but rather a carte-blanche, they serve no purpose/value decision.

Bill proposes all California municipal golf courses convert to housing (usatoday.com)

 

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5 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Having lived in CA in the 70's and early 80', with absolutely no interest in doing so again, I'm not sure why this interests me save for the fact that I love golf and don't like the trend. That a bill aimed at "all" public owned golf courses was even drafted for consideration is lunacy.  We're not talking about a particular course where the trade study pencils out and clearly justifies a closure, but rather a carte-blanche, they serve no purpose/value decision.

Bill proposes all California municipal golf courses convert to housing (usatoday.com)

 

That was last year.  Do we know what the current status is?

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11 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Having lived in CA in the 70's and early 80', with absolutely no interest in doing so again, I'm not sure why this interests me save for the fact that I love golf and don't like the trend. That a bill aimed at "all" public owned golf courses was even drafted for consideration is lunacy.  We're not talking about a particular course where the trade study pencils out and clearly justifies a closure, but rather a carte-blanche, they serve no purpose/value decision.

Bill proposes all California municipal golf courses convert to housing (usatoday.com)

 

I live in Los Angeles and it is practically impossible to secure a tee time (even for a single) on any of the decent LA municipal courses. It is all about the $$$. City “leaders” want to convert to homeless housing. Imagine historic Rancho Park GC, formerly site of the LA Open prior to it being move to Riviera CC converted to a homeless shelter full of drug-addicted, mentally ill people, with feces everywhere. LA is a joke and spiraling downward which at this point is hard to do. 

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15 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Having lived in CA in the 70's and early 80', with absolutely no interest in doing so again, I'm not sure why this interests me save for the fact that I love golf and don't like the trend. That a bill aimed at "all" public owned golf courses was even drafted for consideration is lunacy.  We're not talking about a particular course where the trade study pencils out and clearly justifies a closure, but rather a carte-blanche, they serve no purpose/value decision.

Bill proposes all California municipal golf courses convert to housing (usatoday.com)

 

Probably based on the inaccurate perception that golf is an elitist activity and the muni's serve only the 'well to do'  

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11 hours ago, Kenny B said:

That was last year.  Do we know what the current status is?

@THEZIPR23responded above that the bill never got traction but that it's likely to resurface.  I'd bet money on the latter.

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54 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

@THEZIPR23responded above that the bill never got traction but that it's likely to resurface.  I'd bet money on the latter.

Found this article...

https://www.desertsun.com/story/sports/golf/2022/01/29/california-bill-ab-672-convert-municipal-golf-courses-affordable-housing-could-re-filed/9241307002/

I just don't see Torrey Pines or anything in the Palm Springs area that brings in tourists being turned into affordable housing.  

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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15 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

Found this article...

https://www.desertsun.com/story/sports/golf/2022/01/29/california-bill-ab-672-convert-municipal-golf-courses-affordable-housing-could-re-filed/9241307002/

I just don't see Torrey Pines or anything in the Palm Springs area that brings in tourists being turned into affordable housing.  

Well, that may be great for the Palm Springs area but what about the average Joe living near the major city areas?  I mean if it's about providing low income housing, why not Palm Springs (rhetorical)?  This is the inconsistency (and overt hypocrisy) in these type arguments that bother me.

Anyway, don't want to head down the politics path so I'll just say that I hope course closures anywhere around the country are few and far between.

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On 2/21/2022 at 3:28 PM, jdennish said:

Love my private course up in Cartersville, Cartersville Country Club. Some of the best greens in the state. 2 of Golf Digest top teachers in the Nation are out of CCC. You always see PGA, LPGA and Korn Ferry players out at the course. Hidden gem, I have been a member for almost 25 years.

How much does that membership cost? Nothing us regular folk can pay.

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Some people did parents did better than others.

I grew up poor never been to a country club

never played the game until I got out of the marine corps.

I all ways though,that country club people always had somebody do their dirty work for them.

 

 

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