Saturday, February 25, 2006

Golf is too expensive, but it doesn't have to be!

What would happen if nobody new wanted to play because they had decided that golf takes too long and is far too expensive?

Public golf in Toronto has gone from an average of $40 a round in the mid 90's to an average of $80 today. The construction budget of the first course I worked on with Carrick was 3 million, and the last one was 10 million (please note this was a much tougher build). I've watched the guys I play hockey with go from avid golfers playing 20-30 times a year to becoming occasional players in the last 5 years. Why? "Too expensive and I've found a new hobby that takes less time away from home" Golf needs to realize that the massive build out of strictly high end courses that occurred in Toronto over the last 5 years is not good for the game. It drove the prices up - and they players away.

But if the course is built for a reasonable budget and is well designed - it will become a very successful project. If the course was built for a large budget and fails to attract players - someone loses their whole investment.

In future posts I will detail one alternative model for building an affordable golf course. I will discuss this using a project called Rustic Canyon, which is both affordable and outstanding.

“It is generally agreed that intense importance should be attached to utilizing every feature in the ground, so far as it is compatible with a satisfactory framework. To depend to the maximum extent upon nature, and to the minimum upon art, makes for interesting golf and moderate expenditure.”

H.S. Colt, Some Essays on Golf-Architecture, 1920


dave said...

The price is still right down here but it will start to rise soon with all the new residents in the surrounding area.

Barry Forth said...

It is really too bad that people that want to get into the golf industry want to build the next biggest and best golf course. Then they have to charge outrageous prices to make the investment back.

Soon enough they will realize that golf is not a rich man's sport after all.

Peter said...

all the best with this site and, more importantly, your own business.

It's harder and harder to live in Toronto and find an affordable place to play.

One of the reasons I like natural design and minimal maintenance is because I assume (perhaps wrongly)that this helps keep the costs of golf down.

I hope you get a chance to 'do it all': i.e. design classic, elegant courses that aren't over watered/ fertilized, that don't cost an arm and a leg to play, and that are to be found fairly close to where most people actually live...a tough task, I'm sure

Good luck


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