Buying a Closed Course
May have an opportunity to buy a former country club, that turned public, that turned closed. I don't know the full story as to what caused the demise but I read some reviews still on golfnow from 2015 and the end was near then, conditions were "crap" according to posters then.
What I know:
1. There is a 18 hole course approx. 7200 yards.
2. Bermuda fairways that I bet are mostly crab grass, bermuda rough that is really rough and bent greens
3. No clubhouse, it was destroyed.
4. Tennis Courts and pool. Cart barn (maybe two) and a maintenance shop.
5. Plenty of water on site. Tons of ponds big and small. Frankly, I think it has too much water and that would be something I would attempt to correct.
What I would plan to do to bring it back:
1. Investors first and foremost. There is no way I can do this by myself.
2. Concentrate on golf first. Get the course playable and create a revenue stream.
3. Refurbish the greens this fall, winter and spring.
4. Spray out cool season grass in the fairways while bermuda is dormant this winter.
5. Refurb the driving range. Mow the "range" area and spray the tee area to kill cool season grasses over the winter. Install mats to have as an option. Have a good range for revenue stream. (I might be able to extend the tee to the back of the second cart barn and create indoor bays that could be heated for year round use.)
6. I guess I need to buy some carts and some push carts. I would bet the course is very walkable given the surrounding topography. Looks downright flat actually. I want to promote a walking culture if I can.
Down the road:
2. Keep pool area usable and maintain for additional revenue stream.
3. Refurb Tennis courts.
4. Purchase odd shaped inclusion on property to square the property line and gain space to straighten a funky tee to green transition and add space to put a tee at opposite end of range for a double ended range and practice bunker/short game area.
5. Clean up some odd teeing areas. Reshape some holes away from the few homes that border a hole on the course. Lucky there is room to add a slight dog leg and re-position a small pond that is in play but need not be. I want to add width to the fairways where I can and keep rough short so rounds are fun and fast.
What I don't know:
2. Where am I going to get the money?
3. What kind of shape the bunker drainage and irrigation system is in. My guess is the bunker drainage is shot and the irrigation system has leaks a plenty.
4. What to do for a temp clubhouse. Probably just an office trailer/modular type thing.
5. How willing the adjoining landowner would be to sell that funky square.
6. Where would a find a super as crazy as me to work at course that needs resurrecting.
7. Is there even enough market to have a course there
8. Could I turn it back into a private club after being public for a few years. Can I keep the infrastructure/amenities that public courses don't have (pool, tennis) from crumbling that I would want to have at a private course?
I love golf. To the point I took some golf management classes in college. It is not what I do but I understand the basics of what is going on and I have a fair understanding of agronomy and economy. My wife has a business management degree. She ran a multi-million dollar retail business for about 15 years. I think the business side we could handle.
For those of you that operate courses, what else should I be wary of and what am I missing completely?