Seven golf course projects were honored by the ASGCA for their innovative environmental efforts that have made their facilities more sustainable and profitable. See what was done:
It’s undeniable there have been more golf course closures than openings in the U.S. over the past 13 years. But do you realize that more than 720 golf courses have opened around the country during that period? That total, during what’s looked at as a “down period” for the industry, is more than the entire golf course supply in nations such as Scotland, Ireland, Spain and South Africa.
Rockwood Park appeared headed for the same fate as two other Fort Worth municipal golf courses that closed, with no significant capital improvements over its 80-year history and deteriorating conditions that led to declines in revenue and rounds-played. Today, a $5 million renovation project is paying off — both for the city and golfers in the community.
There’s often surprise expressed by journalists, politicians and the general public that a municipal golf course, or system of courses, might actually “lose” money for a government entity. But making money isn’t the primary motivation that drives a municipality to offer golf as recreation for its residents. Still, the reality is that the majority – about 67 percent — of public-agency golf courses and facilities report making enough revenue to cover all on-site operating expenses.
The terms “facility” and “course” are occasionally used interchangeably both in and out of the golf industry, but they can be quite different. Throughout the years, many media outlets have taken the NGF’s total number for facilities and conflated that with courses even though these two counts are more than 2,000 apart. Why are there two different measures?
The closing of a popular or once-popular golf course isn’t typically celebrated, but the reality is that not every golf course is destined to live forever. In some cases, a golf course served its purpose and its remnants will reward its users equally well, or even better. For some course owners, selling is a long-planned exit strategy.
Thanks to the efforts of a passionate group of citizens, the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta has been transformed from “an obsolete, dangerous golf course” into one with a revolutionary reversible layout, state of the art practice facilities, and programming designed to grow the game of golf.