The thought of owning a golf course is a dream that many golf fans have. And one of the best ways to go about it is to search for abandoned golf courses for sale in your area.
Given that golf courses close every year, there’s every chance that you could find an appropriate venue for sale and strike an excellent bargain for yourself.
So, to help you find abandoned golf courses for sale in your state, we explain what you need to think about and how much you can expect to pay for the privilege.
- Are There Abandoned Golf Courses for Sale?
- Where is the Best Place to Buy Abandoned Golf Courses?
- Can You Get an Abandoned Golf Course Cheap?
- How Much Does It Cost to Restore an Abandoned Golf Course?
- What Else Can You Do with an Old Golf Course?
- Is Owning a Golf Course Profitable?
- Do Golf Courses Own the Land?
- What Company Owns the Most Golf Courses?
Are There Abandoned Golf Courses for Sale?
Yes, throughout the United States, there are lots of abandoned golf courses, many of which you can buy at auctions. In 2021, largely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, around sixty courses closed for good, many of which currently lay abandoned.
Since 2009, more than 1,500 golf courses have closed in the United States, which is a remarkable number when you think about it. There are around 10,000 courses currently open in the US, with Florida boasting the highest number per state.
While the land at some closed golf courses is sold off to make way for housing or shopping developments, sometimes the course lies empty until a new owner comes in to restore it to its former glory.
If you have the money in the bank, buying an abandoned golf course can be an exciting and viable business venture and might even be a life’s dream for some people.
So, to explain what you can expect from the market, we look at everything you need to know about abandoned golf courses in this article.
Where is the Best Place to Buy Abandoned Golf Courses?
Many abandoned golf courses go up for sale at local auction houses in the state where it is located. This is typical for many businesses, so it’s definitely worth checking out the various listings in your local area.
Alternatively, you can search Google for abandoned golf courses for sale in your local region. Another great place to look is a site like Businesses For Sale, where you can look for golf courses that have recently closed down.
What’s more, some courses that have recently closed will share details of their future ownership on their website or perhaps even at the club itself. If a course has been foreclosed by the bank, you can approach the bank directly and make an offer.
In most instances, you will need to do a little bit of research before finding an abandoned golf course for sale, but it will be worth it when you come across a course that you can finally call your own!
Can You Get an Abandoned Golf Course Cheap?
The best way to find a bargain when looking to buy an abandoned golf course is to look for properties that have recently been foreclosed by the bank. These are often put up for sale at auction, and you could strike a good deal if there isn’t much interest in the property.
There are so many factors that can influence the price of a golf course, even if it has been abandoned. Local land prices have a big impact on the sale prices of closed-down golf courses.
Alternatively, you could look for abandoned golf courses that have been on the market for a long time and are struggling to attract interest. If someone has been holding onto the land for a while, you might be able to negotiate a great deal for yourself.
In this respect, buying an abandoned golf course isn’t really any different from buying any other type of property. You need to do your research and look for deals that represent excellent value for money before deciding whether or not to invest.
How Much Does It Cost to Restore an Abandoned Golf Course?
It’s likely to cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, to successfully restore an abandoned golf course. Ultimately, the cost of restoration will largely depend on the condition the course is in and how long it has been abandoned.
For instance, you might find a course for sale that has a dilapidated clubhouse and restaurant, while the fairways and greens are nothing but bush.
It will take a lot of time, money, and effort to restore the land and buildings to a functioning course, and it’s important not to cut corners if you want to make it a success.
Alternatively, you might find an abandoned golf course that has only been vacant for a few weeks, which may only need some slight restorations and on-the-course improvements to make it playable once again.
So, be sure to think carefully about the condition of the course in question before deciding to invest, as you need to make sure you have enough money to fund the necessary restoration work to make your course a success.
What Else Can You Do with an Old Golf Course?
Restoring it is just one of the things you can do with an old, abandoned golf course. After all, golf courses are typically on several acres of land, so you have lots of options at your disposal if you get your hands on a sizeable asset.
One thing that could be a viable option is that you could use the land to develop properties, although this will depend on the rules relating to the use of the land in your state.
You could also convert the golf course into a different type of leisure or tourism facility, be it a hotel and country club or perhaps even a multi-purpose sports venue.
Ultimately, if you get your hands on an abandoned golf course, you can create a flourishing, profitable business for yourself.
Just make sure you check how the land can be used before sealing the deal, as there might be terms and conditions attached to the sale.
Is Owning a Golf Course Profitable?
Owning a golf course can undoubtedly be profitable, but it largely depends on your business model. Are you planning to run a members-only club, or do you like the idea of opening it up to the general public? Whatever you decide will affect your bottom line.
You can also think about other potential revenue streams at your course, be it a delightful restaurant and bar or perhaps even a driving range and practice area that members of the public can use.
As is the case with all businesses, the more potential income streams you have, the more likely your business is to be profitable. But the key to getting your business up and running is to put the time and effort in that it requires.
If you buy an abandoned golf course and invest in restoring it to its former glory, you’re undoubtedly setting yourself up for business success.
Do Golf Courses Own the Land?
Yes, some golf courses own the land on which they’re built, while others have a lease in place. Naturally, it’s important to check this out before agreeing to any potential purchase.
This is particularly crucial if you’re planning to change the way in which the land is used, as you probably don’t have the right to make alterations if you buy a course on leased land.
If you find an abandoned golf course for sale on land that can be developed for other purposes, you will almost certainly find that the cost of the course is high.
After all, while the land might have failed as a golf course, it could be converted into stunning homes by a property developer.
Helpfully, most golf courses that are listed for sale will stipulate whether the land the course is built on is leased or owned, so you can easily see for yourself before making an offer.
What Company Owns the Most Golf Courses?
Troon Golf is the company that owns the most golf courses, with 209 courses under their ownership and management today. The company is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and they have many courses in the US, India, and China. They are also responsible for the floating golf course in the Maldives.
Second to Troon is the Tokyo-based golf course management firm Pacific, which currently owns 157 golf courses.
After going public in 2005, Pacific extended their portfolio in the US and became one of the best-known golf course management companies in the states.
Other companies of note include Accordia, Billy Casper, and ClubCorp, each of which owns more than 125 golf courses.
So, while many golf courses are family-owned, the fact of the matter is that so many of the best and most popular golf courses are owned by the same management companies, particularly in the United States.
Buying an abandoned golf course can be an excellent way of owning the business of your dreams. While you will probably have to invest a lot of capital into restoring the course to its formal glory, it’s a great option for any golf lover with money in the bank.
Hopefully, you now have all the information you need to look for disused golf courses for sale in your state as you take your first steps towards acquiring the business of your dreams.