Where Do You Begin?
Naturally, development considerations vary greatly depending on whether the proposed golf course is to be public/municipal or private. However, there are key elements common to both types of developments. Population as well as economic conditions in a given area must be studied to determine the suitability of such a project.
Some questions which must be addressed are:
- What is the population within a 20-mile radius of the proposed site?
- Number of public and private courses in the area?
- Projected volume of play and fees?
- Projected operating expenses?
- Have any courses in the area failed? Why?
- Are employment levels and per capita income at suitable levels?
Once this preliminary information has been gathered and providing the data seems favorable, it is wise to seek professional golf course architectural help in preparing a master plan.
Should You or Shouldn’t You?
Information from market analysis, feasibility study and the economic impact is critical to decision making on a potential project.
- Identify target markets
- History of competing facilities
- Understanding of financial viability
- Recommendations of fees
- Estimate of costs to construct and operate
- Identify capital to support
- Determine facility type
- By area
- Taxes or revenue
- Employment opportunity
- Recreational/living opportunity
What is the Cost of the Average Golf Course?
Golf course construction costs vary greatly throughout the country. Generally speaking, most developers or communities can count on spending at least $1,600,000 not including the cost of the land, for a modern regulation-length golf course. A golf course construction budget, which can be affected by location and condition of land, might look like this:
- Construction of 18-hole course* $1,600,000 to $4,500,000
- Maintenance Equipment 300,000 to 500,000
- Maintenance Building 125,000 to 450,000
Totals $2,025,000 to $5,450,000
*Includes basic golf course construction: clearing, grading, drainage, construction of tees, fairway and fairway features, greens, sand bunkers, irrigation system, seeding and grassing, shelter, bridges and cart paths.
It must be emphasized that these cost figures are intended only as rough guidelines and do not include the cost of the land, clubhouse, entry road and parking lots, other support facilities, the golf course architect, and other necessary professional fees. In addition, maintenance costs usually run between $250,000 and $650,000 annually, plus club operations and golf cart fleets. Costs will vary depending upon the type of facility constructed, terrain and soil conditions, climate and development goals of the project.