What Happens To Abandoned Golf Courses | WSJ



As golf declines in popularity, communities across the country are struggling with how to best redevelop the land that’s left behind. WSJ visited the Tucson suburb of Oro Valley where the town is trying to figure out what to do with its municipal course.

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35 thoughts on “What Happens To Abandoned Golf Courses | WSJ

  1. It's a global problem. Letham Grange in Scotland ( 3 miles from my house) closed for good last week after being run by members for the past year but they just couldn't sustain it anymore

  2. I don't play it because I didn't grow up with it. Millennials grew up during the video game, and early cell phone era. Parents bought that for their kids, and that's what we like to do. You grew up with golf? Great, now you're 50 still playing. Same concept. But if you don't actually do those things with your kids, and push them towards that stuff, they won't grow into it as an adult. Granted, they might not even if you do push them towards it, but chances are way better.

  3. The maintenance on a golf course is insane. The costs are crazy. I worked on a beautiful dual course here in Kissimmee fla. I did mowing, bunkers weedwacking etc. we had 20 workers on each course. We made $10 hour. Each course used 500 gallons of gasoline per week, at (2012 prices, $3.20 a gal) if a $40,000 fairway mower didn’t break a part, say a clutch for $1200 that week.parts for all the mowers, real expensive, sand trap machines, rough mowers, greens mowers, weed eaters all the seeds, chemicals turf stuff, shovels etc. all machines need small engine mechanics who don’t work for $10 an hour. Each course needs flags, cups, ball washers , soap drinking water, and a dozen other things. Then there are the golf carts, whether electric or four strokes need massive maintenance constantly. I could go on and on. People complain about $12 greens fees. It’s getting impossible to turn a profit. The expenses are just too much today…the hoa and taxes pay for a lot of the expenses and a lot of people are not happy about it. A nice course here in south Florida just closed, lekerika, been there since 1923. Developers are knocking on the door to build more dollar generals. Sad

  4. my daughter and son in law lived on an abandoned course. it was horribly mis managed and was not located in an area that would financially support the course. the course was a selling point for the surrounding neighborhood. they built and sold as many lots/ houses as they could which is only about 25% of the available lots. after about 10 years the course tanked and now the selling point of the neighborhood is defaulted. good luck trying to sell.

  5. Maintaining 1 course is already expensive and 3 is insane. Eventually, they will shut down 2 of those and repurpose them for other public use. Makes no sense in wasting money on a declining sport. The younger generation are more geared for online games and social activities. Every out door sport will see declines in the coming years unless they can market themselves as a better recreation.

  6. Absolutely, right, in a desert you want to keep pumping water and chemicals so that grass stays green! Don't worry about the chemicals, they'll show up in the groundwater. Makes total sense.

  7. Golf courses are really property developments to sell houses. Just like the railways back in the 19th century which didnt make money from rail fares but from the land development that accompanied the opening up of land with towns, industrial development and housing. Once developed the golf course and properties become a depreciating asset.
    Moreover, golf is a time consuming game. You virtually write off a full day, playing and coming and going and is anti social if the whole family is not involved.
    In the US and UK golf course are overcrowded with long waiting times, hold-ups on the course and occasional hooliganism etc. Membership to top country club golf courses in the US can run intomillions in equity membership fees.
    Perhaps 18 holes pver a full Par 4 course is a bit too much. More Par 3, 9 hole course of reasonable size with maybe one or two long holes which would cut 4 or 5 hours off the time needed could rejuvenates the game. I.E. one could play in the mornning or PM.
    Its roots belong to another era of time availability and old gentility such as cricket which involves a 3 day expenditure of time.
    The writing was on the wall when golfers stopped wearing funny coloured trousers.

  8. I'm mid 40's and not making 6 figures. Golf is hard to learn but easy to enjoy. Anyone can buy used clubs, join a membership group and play for pretty cheap. I used to laugh and think there was no physical demand to the game but boy was I wrong. Great way to unplug from life for 3-4 hours and enjoy the outdoors.

  9. Sorry, old man, but the amount of water wasted to smack that ball is the actual insanity. I like the game, but the number of courses in the state and country is ridiculous. How about converting into local growing space and teach the populace to start feeding themselves.

  10. It's sad alot of people won't give golf a try. It's truly the most fun and challenging sports I've picked up. Nothing quite feels like hitting a 300+ yard drive I would maybe compare it to hitting a home run on a major league field. PURE JOY

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