The upswing in golf course renovations across the United States has continued as the calendar turns to the “back 9” of 2015. American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) members are seeing an increase in proposed and ongoing renovation projects at private clubs and public facilities, alike.
Course owners and managers who were previously hesitant about taking on small- or large-scale projects have been more likely to move forward in recent months, as interest rates remain near record lows, and they see the long-term benefits of maintaining sustainable, playable facilities for golfers.
“Our members are very busy with renovations right now,” ASGCA President Steve Smyers said. “Clubs are taking advantage of new technology and the knowledge ASGCA members bring to address areas like turfgrass removal, forward tees, bunker removal and smart water usage, leading to greater efficiency all over the course.”
Golf courses that have completed renovations in recent years are seeing a strong return on investment, according to some experts.
The National Golf Foundation retained Sirius Golf Advisors for a study reported on in the summer issue of “By Design” magazine. The study detailed the positive economic impact of renovations at Dallas-area public courses. Eight projects were “major” renovations, with $5 million spent per course on renovations. For these courses, annual revenue increased from an average of $939,000 before renovation to $1.6 million in the first year of reopening.
At four courses with “minor” renovations – $445,000 spent per course – average annual revenue increased from $1.1 million to $1.5 million.
The ASGCA website has posted a number of articles citing ongoing or recently completed renovation work by ASGCA members across North America, including:
- New putting surfaces and grass-faced bunkers by Bill Bergin, ASGCA, for Oaks Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- A redesigned practice putting green and short-game facility by John Harvey, ASGCA, for Ramsey Golf & Country Club, Ramsey, New Jersey.
- Improvements to greens and bunkers by Todd Eckenrode, ASGCA, at Brentwood Country Club, Los Angeles.
Information on golf course Master Planning and Remodeling is available online from ASGCA by visiting https://asgca.org/resources/publications/.