NGF: More Courses Close Than Open in 2006

The National Golf Foundation reports that there was negative net growth in golf facilities in 2006 for the first time in six decades. According to the NGF 146 18-hole equivalent courses closed during the year, well above the 119.5 courses that opened. The NGF does not view this as an 'alarming occurrence,' but rather as the result of a confluence of events, specifically, openings returning to more normal levels and weaker facilities being culled.

In the late 1980s, the number of openings was about 100 per year. There followed a wave of increased construction in the 1990s that peaked in 2000 with nearly 400 openings. Since then, the wave has subsided to near historic levels.

NGF recorded a 56% jump in the number of closures between 2005 and 2006, from 93.5 to 146. These 146 closures represent about 1% of the total supply of golf courses in the U.S. Closures were primarily public (97%). They were disproportionately short courses (executive and par-3) – 20% were short courses vs. 8% of total facilities. And, they were disproportionately stand-alone 9-holers, 46% vs. 28% of total facilities. Closures were predominately values courses, with nearly half having peak green fees under $25. Closures occurred in 39 of 50 states.

About The Author

Teresa Hartford

Teresa Hartford Editorial & Creative Director | SGB Media teresa@sgbonline.com | 704.651.5741

NGF: More Courses Close Than Open in 2006

The National Golf Foundation reports that There was negative net growth in golf facilities in 2006 for the first time in six decades. According to the NGF 146 18-hole equivalent courses closed during the year, well above the 119.5 courses that opened. The NGF does not view this as an 'alarming occurrence,' but rather as the result of a confluence of events, specifically, openings returning to more normal levels and weaker facilities being culled.

In the late 1980s, the number of openings was about 100 per year. There followed a wave of increased construction in the 1990s that peaked in 2000 with nearly 400 openings. Since then the wave has subsided to near historic levels.

The culling of courses is not viewed as a negative by NGF. On the contrary, we would expect overall course supply to stop expanding in the absence of increases in demand. It is primarily the weaker courses that are closing and, in many cases, owners who sell are profiting from long-term real estate appreciation. Finally, a better quality overall golf supply means a better quality experience for players.

NGF recorded a 56% jump in the number of closures between 2005 and 2006, from 93.5 to 146. These 146 closures represent about 1% of the total supply of golf courses in the U.S. Closures were primarily public (97%). They were disproportionately short courses (executive and par-3) – 20% were short courses vs. 8% of total facilities. And, they were disproportionately stand-alone 9-holers, 46% vs. 28% of total facilities. Closures were predominately values courses, with nearly half having peak green fees under $25. Closures occurred in 39 of 50 states.

About The Author

Teresa Hartford

Teresa Hartford Editorial & Creative Director | SGB Media teresa@sgbonline.com | 704.651.5741

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