As demand for houses increases, developers are searching high and low for land that makes sense to build on. Lately, it seems their inspiration is coming from “dead” golf courses. Ever since the Great Recession a decade ago, many golf courses have been going out of business as the sport struggles to recover from the diminished interest, leaving big open spaces of land that are perfect for new developments.
As of 2013, the number of regular golfers in the use dropped from 30.6 million to 23.8 million, and this decrease in traffic has led to the closing of over 200 courses in the last year alone. This has opened up a ton of property near cities or expensive suburbs that can be turned into residential communities, especially considering the average 18-hole golf course spans about 150 acres. This presents a great opportunity for builders to build close to cities while also introducing new homes to areas that are dominated by older ones.
Robert Dietz, the Chief Economist of the National Association of Home Builders, had this to say about the trend. “In a market where developable lots are scarce, a large footprint like a golf course presents a major development opportunity. It’s an opportunity for builders to build closer in to city centers and more congested areas.”