My new Scoregolf.com column, talking about the economics of the public course business after the closings of The Rock and Mystic Golf Club, is now posted here.
Here’s a taste:
No one wants to suggest it is the start of a trend quite yet, but over the past month two high-profile golf courses in the Ontario market were closed. At the same time, several other clubs have been approached by developers eager to get their hands on the property these clubs own in the hopes of converting it into housing.
Some may see this as coincidence; I see it as a sign of something that must be carefully considered.
After all, the bodies of two Ontario golf clubs are barely cold.
The first, Mystic Golf Club near Hamilton, shuddered for one last time in November after being ignored by golfers for two years and then being placed into receivership last month as creditors lost patience with the facilitys owner. Its corpse is now being picked over by potential buyers, though it doesnt appear it will reopen in the spring and no one is certain of its future. Soon on the heels of Mystics closure came news The Rock, the Nick Faldo and Brit Stenson design in Muskoka, would shut its gates for 2007 and rework its course. It isnt dead “ and the hope is it will reopen in 2008 once the edges are smoothed and the course is made playable for someone who hasnt won a couple of British Opens and Masters titles.