Summary: Golf course appraisers base value on marketability and aesthetics. A review of current and future golf course construction issues provides additional information needed to establish accurate golf course value.
A golf course construction review examines the following issues:
- Tee and green subsurface structure
- Cart paths
- Turf conditions
- Safety issues
- Tree issues
Drainage, or subsurface water management, affects golf course revenue. After a rain event, walk the course and evaluate course conditions. Look for wet, low areas that contain standing water. Locate drainage structures like outlets (pipe ends that discharge water) and drain inlets (permeable covers that allow surface to drain). An extensive drainage network will increase the value of a golf course. A wet golf course will see limited play during wet seasons.
Evaluate tee and green structure with a core sample. Use a cup cutter, a tee-handle attached to sharpened cylinder. Take a few samples on each tee and green and examine the root and soil structure. A reputable soil lab will provide an accurate assessment for a nominal cost while determining if the greens and tees need rebuilding.
Cart paths provide critical traffic control. Asphalt and concrete paving has a limited life span. Many contractors install thin layers of base and paving material, and these paths fail quickly. Rebuilding is expensive.
Discuss turf conditions with the golf course superintendent. Ask about mowing intensity and chemical control. Add golf course maintenance costs to operating budget projections.
Stray golf balls hurt people. Examine potential liability. Houses bordering the site should be out of reach of the worse golf shots. Determine the building potential of land adjoining the golf course. Golf course owners may be liable for modifications and netting installations if new buildings are exposed to errant golf shots.
Trees create problems for turf management by shading sunlight. Fairways constricted by tree limbs reduce course playability. Add tree trimming and removal costs into the analysis.