Global News: York Downs’ $400-million offer

Will York Downs members vote to sell?
I wrote about the latest in the York Downs saga for Global News yesterday:

Markham, Ont.’s York Down Golf and Country Club has an offer of $412-million for its property, making it another example of a club that has found its property value outweighs its benefits as a golf course.

York Downs, a private club north of Toronto, had an initial offer of less than $325-million earlier this year to sell its prime real estate to a developer. The club elected to put out a tender to see if the land would receive other offers.

At a meeting this week, the club’s board of directors told members of a $412-million offer from a developer, which means the club would stay in its current location for five years with each member receiving about $200,000 for their share. Some members have suggested the club should relocate and build a new golf course, but according to sources that notion doesn’t seem to be gaining traction. Before it was closed to new members, golfers who joined York Downs paid around $30,000, meaning they’ll see a significant windfall from the sale.

The full story is here.

I’d add that York Downs is only one of several courses that are being sold — or potentially sold — right now. Calgary’s Harvest Hills is causing some controversy, as is Highland Gate in Aurora, Ont. And there are several courses in the Oakville/Milton area that have been sold for development.

The one note I’d add is that I don’t think any of these courses will be missed, including York Downs. Why? Because none of them were outstanding courses. Great golf courses find an audience—these didn’t.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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