Savvy investors are purchasing many distressed golf course properties. The trade saying “only the third one in makes money in golf” holds true just like it did back in the early 1990s.
Golf operations consultants identify best practices to improve cash flow but they don’t have the skills to identify current golf course structure. Potential golf course buyers should contact an experienced golf construction consultant to perform an asset analysis to identify inherent golf course construction deficiencies.
Drainage is a prime consideration. Golfers hate plugged golf balls and wet feet, and golf course owners hate closing when rain is falling. Golf course drainage solutions have become very complex and expensive. It’s best to identify subsurface water flow. Stay away from Civil Engineers with parking lot experience.
Irrigation systems keep golf courses alive. Precise water delivery will result in better conditions. Identify the system brand and have a sales representative evaluate the system. Or, hire an irrigation consultant for a detailed irrigation review. Irrigation systems last 20-25 years and if your irrigation system is deficient, a new system may cost over a million dollars. Also, check out the irrigation source to insure that it delivers cost-effective and abundant irrigation water.
Golf greens and tees must be built to current construction standards. Identify construction techniques and drainage capability by using a thin soil auger. If the soil profile is free draining, that’s good news. If the profiles identify thick thatch layers or impermeable soil, you may need a green rebuild that can cost $75,000 per green.
Check out these three key issues before you purchase a distressed golf course.