What to do in a market where there are already too many golf courses and at least a couple of rumors each week that a club or two might file for bankruptcy protection? Apparently, you turn to golfers and ask what they want.
At least that’s what Bryan DeChunha, a developer working to create a golf course near Milton thinks. He told the Hamilton Spectator:
“I’m very cognizant of the number of golf courses that are currently in financial difficulty because there are not enough golfers,” said DeCunha. “We don’t want to be there so we are trying to anticipate some of the issues that cause them to be there. We’re trying to think outside the box. And you have to build what the market wants.”
So that means DeChunha, who was involved in the exorable Royal Ontario with the Kaneff Group, plans to ask golfers what they want — including naming the course and design features. He’s even set up a web site called www.namethecourse.com.
“We want to build a full championship golf course that will be just a nice as any of the high-end golf courses in the area,” said DeCunha. “Having said that, we have no delusions about charging high-end rates.”
DeCunha, a Mississauga real estate developer who is investing between $12 million to $15 million in the project, said the course, which will be public, will probably charge greens fees in the $85 range.
The remarkable thing about this is that DeChunha is using Danoff to do the work. Royal Ontario was bad, and Thundering Waters is worse. While DeCunha’s take on the market and wanting to do something different is admirable, using a dodgy golf architect isn’t a good start.
What about forgetting about the bells, whistles and name games and simply building a great golf course with a superior architect? Wouldn’t that attract players? Garry McKay’s story on the subject can be found here.
– Some final thoughts on the Raven at Lora Bay. After playing an additional nine holes at the course earlier this week, I believe it might be better than I initially thought. The bunkering is extremely strong, and the routing provides options while being walkable. In my mind this would be in the running for the best course I’ve played in Ontario this year.