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Private clubs: Creativity a must for survival (Golf Clubs Struggling)

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 01:57 AM
Original message
Private clubs: Creativity a must for survival (Golf Clubs Struggling)
Is this happening in anyone else's area? Signs of a struggling economy?

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04077/286952.stm

Bob Collins was an integral part of the golf boom in the mid-1990s, when designer courses were sprouting like black-eyed Susans and private clubs could have used turnstiles to count the growing number of new members.

Collins left his job as a golf professional in tiny West Middlesex to become director of golf at Diamond Run Golf Club, an affluent real-estate community in Ohio Township with a golf course designed by Gary Player and a membership comprised of young, affluent professionals seeking to mix golf with business. At the time, Diamond Run was just one of several such private courses to debut in the Pittsburgh area, joining Nevillewood, Treesdale and Southpointe, trendy clubs built among homes that ranged from $400,000 to $2 million.

"It was kind of easy in the 1990s," Collins said. "People were making money and they weren't worried about initiation fees and dues going up."

Now, though, the financial climate has changed, forcing many private clubs, particularly smaller ones, to find ways to survive.

Consider Oak Tree Golf Club in West Middlesex, the club Collins left in 1995 to oversee the golf operation at Diamond Run. One of the best courses in the tri-state area, Oak Tree has decided to open its layout to the public in an attempt to generate more revenue. The members, who have owned the club since 1993, are in the process of selling Oak Tree to a group that includes Collins, who returned to the club two years ago as general manager.
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. sniff sniff ....I'm crying
...looks like I'll have to hang up my golf bag. Better luck next year.

After all, I have to buy groceries with my country club dues. My gas won't take me all the way to the Country Club, which is located slighlty out of town, so I have to drive 20 miles round trip.

Looks like the Pork Chop won out.

Oh well, they could always hire Bill Murray as the Groundskeeper.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Oh my, another thing to worry about
Gosh, the plight of the golfer. If people have to give up golf, who will wear atrocious pants and putter around on chemical-laden land?

Bleah. Golf. :puke:

Abolish it, I say!
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montana_hazeleyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 03:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. And where will O. J. go to
to keep looking for the "real killers"?
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. What about those of us that play on municipal courses
that irrigate with reclamated water? What do we do?

Just because you don't like something is no reason to abolish it. I'm liberal and I golf.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Here, here!!
The municipals here in San Antonio have been using gray water now for several years.

Golf is a great sport that anyone can play, athletic ability notwithstanding. 90% of the game is between your ears.
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Oilwellian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. I second that emotion
:hi:
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DustMolecule Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. If someone can help look into the origins of 'golf'....
...I understand that the word 'golf' comes from "Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden" ..... true or no????
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. False. Check snopes.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Not true, but...
not a bad idea on Saturday morning. :-)
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Golf is not a sport
Golf is men in funny pants, walking...

Think it was Rosie O'Donnell who said it...
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's been happening for a long time.
We've been through bad times before. But it's a crime for a golf course to suddenly change the landscape and decide to go condo. You have hundreds of homeowners who purchased on a false concept, and things can get ugly. They did where I live.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
8. I really can't say I cry for the private golf club members.
They get what they deserve. However, there are plenty of public and municipal courses that are doing fairly well. However, they are aggressively marketing themselves for charity events, and hosting events not traditionally associated with golf courses.

Golf got a little over-expanded in the 1990s. I'm glad some of those dilletantes have gone away - more room for me.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Not Just Overexapanded, But. . .
. . .far too many were set up as very upscale layouts on way too much land. $150 green fees on 200 acres, when only 120 acres is required to put a layout in place.

Now, they're stuck with the land which has no value except as a golf course, the associated taxes, and the expectation of those that still show up that the club will be run as a high line resort.

It's was based upon foolish speculation and an incorrect notion that golf pricing is fully elastic. It's not. If people with such poor business planning lose their money, tough!
The Professor
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 10:51 AM
Response to Original message
13. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
:nopity:
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
14. I go with what George Carlin suggested
Give all the golf courses to the homeless.

TlalocW
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
15. Good. Now maybe some people will stop wasting hundreds of hours chasing
a ball and pay attention to what's going on around them. Also stop wasting billions of gallons of public water.
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no_arbusto Donating Member (548 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
17. My old office was in the Southpointe development
We used to look out of our meeting room directly over a fairway and green.

Believe it or not, the 600+ acre Southpointe development did a lot for the tax base of Washington County and it was made possible by the DEMOCRATIC commissioners who spearheaded it. However, I was told that the $17,000 a year (1996) membership fee for the country club was just not worth it, even during the 90's tech boom (Stargate and Adelphia had offices there). Southpointe is still home to Iceoplex, the Penguins training center, which probably keeps the golf course above water.

Another interesting thing from that article is the mention of homes ranging from $400,000 to $2,000,000. I'm very familiar with those homes and now that I live in the DC area, I realize that those homes would probably go for $800,000 to $5,000,000 here. I only dream that I could get a home that costs $400,000 in Pittsburgh for less than twice that here.
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