8 Golf Inc. Summer 2014
AROUND THE WORLD
reading — 63.2.
“Another way to interpret the Golf
Investment Index is that a score of 50.0
means that the industry is evenly divided
between golf optimists who believe the
market is on the way up, and pessimists
who doubt golf’s recovery,” the report
No. 5 1 million fewer golfers
Count Jim Koppenhaver — the president
and founder of Pellucid Corp., a golf
industry consulting company based
in Buffalo Grove, Ill. — as one of the
pessimists. The self-described industry
contrarian writes in his latest newsletter,
Outside the Ropes, that the number of
U.S. golfers dropped 5 percent in 2013.
That means golf lost one million golfers,
bringing it to below pre-1990 levels.
“This will likely come as a big surprise
to the various industry trade association
organizations which opened 2014 at the
PGA Merchandise Show proclaiming
optimism (unfortunately unfounded
in any substantive facts or catalysts)
in a new dawn for the upcoming year,”
He reported that the decline was most
pronounced among men, 25 to 54 years
old in the $35,000 to $75,000 income
bracket. Women, however, grew slightly.
Rounds per capita dropped slightly due
to the slowing population growth and
decline in the golfer base. But it was offset
by a slight gain in the frequency of play
No. 6 Private club rebound?
Larry Hirsh, a Pennsylvania-based
golf consultant, believes entrance fees
at U.S. private clubs “are beginning to
recover after a long period of decline or
Hirsh bases his claim on evidence
gathered at clubs in Florida, Philadelphia,
metropolitan New York, California and
the Carolinas. These are some of America’s
prime golf markets, and clubs in other
places may not be as near to recovery.
No. 7 Pinehurst acquires
Pinehurst Resort and Country Club
has talked about adding a ninth course
for some time. It has plans for a Rees
Jones-designed course ready to go, and it
acquired The Pit in early 2011, with plans
to have Coore & Crenshaw renovate it.
But in May, it surprised most with the
acquisition of National Golf Club, a Jack
Nicklaus Signature Design course that
is less than three miles from the famed
Pinehurst Resort is expecting a surge
of visitors, thanks to both the 2014 U.S.
Open and Women’s Open.
The acquisition gives Pinehurst added
inventory for guests and members. It was
immediately available to members, and
resort guests started play in early July.
No. 8 Concert Golf acquires
Concert Golf Partners acquired
MacGregor Downs Country Club, a
historic private country club in Cary,
N.C., for $3.4 million.
Concert Golf bought the club in a
consensual transaction initiated by its 600
members, who were seeking capital for
immediate and long-term improvements.
The owners elected to sell rather than
assess themselves millions of dollars for
needed capital improvements.
Concert Golf is launching an ambitious
multimillion-dollar agenda of capital
projects at the club that were laid out by
the membership during the course of a
year’s strategic planning efforts.
With MacGregor Downs in the fold,
Chairman Peter Nanula’s group has
acquired seven golf properties during the
past three years.
No. 9 NYC course’s cost is
tall as skyscraper
When it comes to spending on golf
construction, few private developers
would dare run up a tab like the City of
Citing figures provided by the city’s
independent budget office, the New York
Daily News reports that the Trump Golf
Links at Ferry Point will cost taxpayers
$181.4 million, making it the third most
expensive golf course ever, after Trump
National Golf Club Los Angeles ($260
million) and Liberty National Golf
Course in Jersey City, N.J. ($250 million).
The city’s parks department has been
working on the municipal course for
14 years. It was originally supposed to
cost less than $20 million. The parks
department says it will cost only $127
“A large fraction of this cost was from
the excavation and removal of municipal
solid waste and other environmental
remediation that we performed as...
mandated by new environmental
standards,” a parks department
Ferry Point, designed by Jack Nicklaus,
is scheduled to open in the spring of
2015. Donald Trump, who was hired after
the course ran into financial problems,
will operate the course. As part of his
agreement, he will spend $10 million to
build the clubhouse, but will not pay rent
for the first five years.