We’ve all become way too familiar with news of a golf course closure.  Though inevitable, I learned this morning of another planned closure that hit close to home.
The club I grew up at, where I learned the game from my father, taught my sons the game, won and lost club championships, made friends and some foes, went to weddings and bar-mitzvahs and spent many idle hours shooting the breeze in the pro shop, on the patio or in the bar, Blue Ridge Country Club in Harrisburg, PA will be shutting its doors in favor of mixed development at the end of the 2017 season.  It’s where I made my first par, first birdie, broke 100, 90, 80 and 70 for the first time and where my boys (pictured above-2008) experienced many of the same thrills.  The club had been on “life support” for a number of years.  
Though we relocated and I left the club 7 years ago, I suspected this day was coming, back in 2008 when club leadership first decided against investing in improvements to the club and again a few years later when the impact of the great recession, poor leadership and management and declining levels of service precipitated the sale of the club to a developer.  Blue Ridge as we knew it died peacefully after an extended illness.
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Last week, I visited Orlando for the Golf Industry Show, NGCOA Conference and CMAA Show.  Usually, along with the recent PGA Merchandise Show, these events are a good opportunity to “take the temperature” of the golf course industry.
There are mixed signals out there.  On the positive side, I spoke with several golf course architects and builders, who while not doing much in new course development are busy with renovations and restorations.  Membership at many private clubs is up, with some of the more prominent clubs having waiting lists for the first time in a long while.  The last couple of years has seen increases in rounds played at daily-fee facilities, albeit still at competitive rates.
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Some of our recent assignments include:
  • FL - Feasibility Analysis for re-opening of closed DF golf course
  • FL - Appraisal of closed golf course
  • NY - private club review, analysis and appraisal for litigation support
  • VA - Private club appraisal for tax assessment appeal
  • DE - private club appraisal for litigation support
  • NJ - appraisal of private club for tax assessment appeal
  • NH - appraisal of private club for tax assessment appeal
GPA president Larry Hirsh will be presenting at New Jersey Continuing Legal Education seminar on March 8, 2017 and at the Pennsylvania Assessors Association on May 3, 2017.
To order our recently published book, Golf Property Analysis and Valuation - A Modern Approach, click on the graphic above.
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