The Local Knowlege

Golf & Business

'It's nice to look out the window at a golf course,' says course owner, stating the obvious

By Peter Finch

Bloomberg had an interesting piece on the golf-course business the other day. Focusing on the U.S. market for golf-course sales, it concluded that things have picked up quite a bit. The article shows the average sales price of a course at $4.25 million these days. While that’s down 42 percent from the 2006 average ($7.33 million), it’s a gain of 57 percent from 2012’s average ($2.7 million).

Bloomberg got these numbers from Marcus & Millichap’s National Golf & Resort Properties Group. Here's a link to a little video about the data, which made the news service’s “Single Best Chart” feature.

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The article quotes oil exec Ben Kenny, who bought Georgia's Horseshoe Bend Country Club (pictured above) for $6.1 million and has spent more than $20 million on improvements in the past two and a half years. The course was originally designed by Joe Lee, though Bob Cupp oversaw its recent renovation. It was enough of a do-over that Horseshoe Bay made Golf Digest’s list of Best New Courses in 2013.

A quote of note from the owner: "It’s nice to look out the window at a golf course. It beats looking at a stock portfolio that 13 guys are manipulating to try to beat me.”

I get what he’s saying. But just for the record, a $20 million portfolio invested in the S&P 500 two and a half years ago would have been pretty nice to look at, too.