The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 2

GOLF COURSE
OPERATIONS

Course closures - some perspective
from Pellucid
"It's better to burn out than to fade away," Neil Young

"Old soldiers never die, they just fade away", Douglas MacArthur
"There are three sides to every story - yours, mine and the cold, hard truth," Don Henley
By Stuart Lindsay

W

e did a pretty deep dive on course closure data for our
annual State of the Industry Report in January. Part of
that research was prompted by two Municipal projects
we were working on. Since then, we have looked at several more
situations involving decisions to close or shrink golf operations.
In addition, for the last 5 years we have been assisting a profitable, family-owned golf course transition to a "higher and better
non-golf use."
We looked at 2006 - 2016 because 2006 marked the year that
we started seeing closures exceed openings for the first time since
the Great Depression. The numbers are interesting - 80% (about
1,800) of the approximately 2,200 golf course closures in US history pre-1900 to present have occurred since 2006. To further the
"burn out" side of the story, the median age of all golf courses in
the US is 48 and the median age of those closures was 26. It appears that it is not just the "old soldiers" fading away.
In all, the overall closure rate is just over 10% since 2006. It's instructive to look at the types of courses being closed. For example,
Pellucid's access to the IGDB Consortium database allows us to
sort "Member Equity" Private Clubs (23%) from privately owned
Private Clubs. We also sorted using the common industry metrics
which differentiate "Municipal"(11%) and "Military"(under 1%)

In all, the overall
closure rate is just over
19% since 2006.

2 The Pellucid PersPecTive

ownership. This means that about 65% of the golf courses in the
US are under private sector ownership.
*
*
*
*

The closure rate for "Member Equity" Private Clubs is
very low at 2%
"Municipal" closure rate is 7% - 30% below the national
average
Private sector owned course closure is 14% - 40% above
the national average
Only the statistically insignificant "Military" segment
had a higher closure rate of 17%. It should be noted that
the "Military" Naval Course that Jim Koppenhaver managed in Hawaii as a Marine Corp Captain is still open.

The relatively low "Municipal" closure rate is really not surprising considering the experiences we have when we are called in
to public meetings to present our findings and answer questions.
We also pay attention to multiple sources that track golf industry
topics and golf course activity.
While each situation has its individual nuances, there are several common issues. The most important is that when the meeting
has a published subject of potential course closure, the majority
of the attendees are "golfers." The other main constituency is generally people who own real estate on or near
the course. There are often other "green space" advocates
who are willing to forget their usual objections (usually
un-informed) to excessive chemical usage and mower
emissions. Non-golfers don't generally show up because
they either don't care or support the idea and don't want
their golfer neighbors to know how they really feel.
At one recent hearing, we had several league members express their objections to closing a 9 hole course
sitting on property so valuable it could have ensured the
operation of the city's three other facilities for probably
the next generation and beyond. That was followed by
the sister of a PGA Tour player making a good case for
not shrinking one of the other facilities as an alternative. Of course, then there was the obligatory plea of a
resident worried about habitat for orphan baby owls. If
you guess that no decisions have been made, you would
be right.
In another situation, a major metropolitan park district had to terminate its contracted manager, but electJune 2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018

TOC
Course closures – some perspective from Pellucid
CapEx: The looming monster under the bed for munis
Courses turning unused land into cash cow
May golf weather impact: We Finally Catch a Break
Cleveland market challenged, but not like Cavs
It is, after all, all about the money
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Course closures – some perspective from Pellucid
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - CapEx: The looming monster under the bed for munis
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Courses turning unused land into cash cow
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - May golf weather impact: We Finally Catch a Break
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - Cleveland market challenged, but not like Cavs
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - June 2018 - It is, after all, all about the money
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perspective_201008
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com