Buying a Closed Course

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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers  1443WRX Points: 269Handicap: 12.3Posts: 1,443 Platinum Tees
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    This is an excellent opportunity.

    1 - remortgage your house and pull out all the equity.

    2 - tap you and your wife’s retirement ASAP.

    3 - lasso your parents and in laws in as “silent investors”

    4 - crowd source $500 bucks from kickstarter

    5 - try and get 4H kids from the local HS to use livestock to trim your mowing budget.

    I could on, but do I really need to? All signs are you sitting on a gold mine my friend! Pull the trigger already. :)

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  • pseudoswedepseudoswede Fear the Power Draw Parker, COMembers  1537WRX Points: 238Handicap: 9ishPosts: 1,537 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 9, 2019 #93

    On -, @smashdn said:

    The course is located in west KY.

    Having grown up on that side of the state, I panicked and checked out many of the courses I played during my junior golf days. Fortunately, they're all still operating.

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  • NDSwimNDSwim Members  121WRX Points: 67Handicap: 6.2Posts: 121 Fairways
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    Super easy to find the course, took all of 2 minutes.

    The article about the fire says there was litigation occurring in early 2016.

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  • j-robj-rob Members  1131WRX Points: 132Posts: 1,131 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 10, 2019 #95

    Looks like the course was a 9 hole course as of 2009 and the original owner went bankrupt with over 2mil in judgements. I would assume that it was re-opened and then struck by lightning in 2016. Place may be cursed or the 3rd try might be the charm. Looks like homes are still being built and surrounding lots being sold.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @pseudoswede said:

    On -, @smashdn said:

    The course is located in west KY.

    Having grown up on that side of the state, I panicked and checked out many of the courses I played during my junior golf days. Fortunately, they're all still operating.

    Tell me what you know about the course off of 58 that is south of Big Bear Creek near Fairdealing. Real Estate guy has brought that one up too but it has been closed longer and is even farther off the cut. I did hear that when it was open it was a very difficult track.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @j-rob said:

    then struck by lightning in 2016. Place may be cursed or the 3rd try might be the charm. Looks like homes are still being built and surrounding lots being sold.

    Look at the sky in the picture of it burning. Doesn't look to me like that is the type of sky that generates cloud to ground lightning. But I'm no meteorologist, I just observe and connect the dots.

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  • duffer987duffer987 Meh... eh Canadian in CaliforniaMembers  9904WRX Points: 1,142Handicap: ~8Posts: 9,904 Titanium Tees
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    'Simple' and potentially fun alternative: https://twitter.com/someguysbackyrd

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  • JAMH03JAMH03 Members  979WRX Points: 440Posts: 979 Golden Tee
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    On -, @duffer987

    Thank you I'm to put this pic on my bucket list and in the Golfwrx bucket list thread. I find the thought to be both scary, and exhilarating and have no idea how I'd fit it into my present life. But nothing wrong with dreams!

    P.S. SEA not that great for golf. I think you'd probs enjoy BC area more.

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  • duffer987duffer987 Meh... eh Canadian in CaliforniaMembers  9904WRX Points: 1,142Handicap: ~8Posts: 9,904 Titanium Tees
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    Ha! Ya :-)
    This just seems like a neat alternative for someone who wants to scratch the golf course itch. At least from my POV, be a darn sight more fun then trying to revive some mediocre plot of land, with a mediocre course on top of it, that's already died an understandable death.

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  • pseudoswedepseudoswede Fear the Power Draw Parker, COMembers  1537WRX Points: 238Handicap: 9ishPosts: 1,537 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 12, 2019 #101

    On -, @smashdn said:

    Tell me what you know about the course off of 58 that is south of Big Bear Creek near Fairdealing. Real Estate guy has brought that one up too but it has been closed longer and is even farther off the cut. I did hear that when it was open it was a very difficult track.

    While I visited Murray State many times in my youth for academic/geeky reasons, I never made it that far south in my junior golf days. Sorry.

    Edited to add: I actually did play somewhere in Hopkinsville once. Can't remember the name of the course, though.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @pseudoswede said:

    Edited to add: I actually did play somewhere in Hopkinsville once. Can't remember the name of the course, though.

    Links at Novadel maybe? I hear it may be closed or was possibly closed a few years back. It truly was in the middle of nowhere.

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  • bluefishercatbluefishercat Members  87WRX Points: 28Posts: 87 Fairways
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    The NYT had an article a couple of years ago about a small 9 hole course that was surviving. Not sure if it still is but here is a link to the article.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/sports/golf/sweetens-cove-golf-club-rob-collins.html

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  • howellhandmadehowellhandmade Members  865WRX Points: 263Posts: 865 Golden Tee
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    Sweetens Cove is surviving nicely — has some quality investors, including Brad Faxon who promotes it on his Sirius show.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    Surviving is an understatement in regards to Sweeten's Cove. If you value architecture and walking golf it is a destination.

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  • JAMH03JAMH03 Members  979WRX Points: 440Posts: 979 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited Aug 13, 2019 #106

    On -, @bluefishercat said:

    The NYT had an article a couple of years ago about a small 9 hole course that was surviving. Not sure if it still is but here is a link to the article.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/sports/golf/sweetens-cove-golf-club-rob-collins.html

    This is going to be like Sweetens Cove North only with more land and more love!

    edit It could absolutely be something special I believe that we have to allow for that possibility and that it's the right thing to do to encourage people who are willing to be risk takers. By no means would I advocate the OP to take choices that would hurt him or his family but
    "First with the head then with the heart!" Why couldn't this course be made special and a destination? We don't know enough yet.

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  • Hack DaddyHack Daddy Members  1109WRX Points: 340Posts: 1,109 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 14, 2019 #107

    One (and pretty much the only) factor that is shutting down courses in southern california - water.

    The only courses that are still operating (non private), at a profit, have wells.

    Last course was going through 800k gallons a month of potable water. In a residential development, with average prices, and a slammed tee sheet daily. Also had a thriving club house that was well known for weddings and banquets. and the owners still closed the course. Kept the clubhouse though, lol.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    Luckily water is not an issue around here. Plenty of surface waters, minimal if any rules regarding pumping. Also, that area the water table is relatively shallow.

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  • NDSwimNDSwim Members  121WRX Points: 67Handicap: 6.2Posts: 121 Fairways
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    How’s that due diligence going?

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    It is still closed.

    Re-read Forrest Richardson's book and Anatomy of a Golf Course just to double check my thinking. Agent still working on contacting owner. He is doing so as a favor so his paying gigs come first naturally.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members  11744WRX Points: 1,555Posts: 11,744 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Aug 21, 2019 #111

    So your theory is, knowledge of golf course architecture is a major factor separating successful from failed golf-course owners?

    This is basically a vanity project, then. You need to find some "investors" to pay for you to tinker around with a golf course. It reminds me of those threads where some 12 hcp asks for advice on finding sponsors so he can to go out full time on the mini-Tours and hone his golf game under competitive pressure.

    One followup question. Did your interest in this come about because of the recent articles praising Sweetens Cove? If so, maybe you could contact the owner of that course and ask for some real-world advice.

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  • DavePelz4DavePelz4 A golf course in the Chicago area.ClubWRX  25403WRX Points: 2,560Handicap: 2 ManyPosts: 25,403 ClubWRX
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    On -, @cxx said:

    On -, @North Butte said:

    I'm not clear on what the OP is bringing to the table.

    It sounds like the pitch would be for "investors" to put up the money to let a person with no golf-industry experience run a golf course the way he wants to see one run.

    And all this for a course which has recently gone bust. How is that supposed to work out better for an amateur than it did for the people running it the first time around?

    Maybe he's going to sell the TV rights to the reality series.

    You might be on to something here. Sell the story to the Golf Channel or the Home and Garden Channel (if there is one) and have Bob Villa host "This Old Golf Course." You could get some $$$ to help develop the course and also free exposure/advertising.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @North Butte said:

    So your theory is, knowledge of golf course architecture is a major factor separating successful from failed golf-course owners?

    No. Architecture interests me and Richardson's book is as much about business of building a successful golf course (routings that make sense for golfer movement on the property, efficient locations of clubhouse, maintenance areas, access, food and beverage, etc.). Since, there has been no movement while I wait to get in contact with the owner, there is not much to report. I have also read Bob Rotella's book and Extraordinary Golf as well in the last week. I read a lot about all facets of golf, business, architecture, history and instruction.

    On -, @North Butte said:

    This is basically a vanity project, then. You need to find some "investors" to pay for you to tinker around with a golf course. It reminds me of those threads where some 12 hcp asks for advice on finding sponsors so he can to go out full time on the mini-Tours and hone his golf game under competitive pressure.

    No need to approach investors yet if the expenses are not fully known at this stage of the process. Several people have said that now. I don't have all the information I need and I know that. Things is, getting that information takes time and is made more difficult by not living right in the area of the course. I am not from there and do not have my own connections in the area. my friend who is a real estate agent does but, like I've mentioned, he is just serving as the liaison at this point and a free one at that. I have no need to press the issue. If it turns out there is not a way to make this work then I have lost nothing in exploring it and gained a little knowledge for perhaps the next time something like this comes up.

    On -, @North Butte said:

    One followup question. Did your interest in this come about because of the recent articles praising Sweetens Cove? If so, maybe you could contact the owner of that course and ask for some real-world advice.

    Not really. That has had no bearing. I was aware of Sweeten's Cove long before the recent articles. I have talked to Rob about the course and their design business but it has been several years. There is a big difference between the traffic on I-24 and the proximity of that course to it and this one along I-69. Sweetens (appears to me) serves two purposes though. The first to be a dang good and fun golf course. The second to showcase the work that King Collins can do. I should call them and bend their ears but I am also very aware that the questions I would like to ask would very likely cross the line from friendly conversation and interest in consulting. No investors, no firmed up opportunity, I am not ready for a paid consultant at this point. Having been on the other side of things in my professional like I am very sensitive to when my opinions on a matter turn into engineering services/work for which I get paid for.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members  2204WRX Points: 856Posts: 2,204 Platinum Tees
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    Didn't get the position over that way so the course is out of the question as well, at least logistically.

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  • Hack DaddyHack Daddy Members  1109WRX Points: 340Posts: 1,109 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @smashdn said:

    Didn't get the position over that way so the course is out of the question as well, at least logistically.

    lol

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