I sell a lot of homes in McCormick Ranch. Many nestle up against the golf course. Luckily, those who own McCormick Ranch homes don’t need to worry about the golf course closing up. But other neighborhoods aren’t so fortunate. Since 2006, more than 800 golf courses have closed across the country due to interest in the sport going down.
Many homeowners, like those at McCormick Ranch, pay a premium to live on or near a golf course. So many, though, are finding their property values going down as a result of a golf course closing.
Developers took advantage of the golf industry boom in the 1990s and early 2000s to sell homes on golf courses like McCormick Ranch. Since 2003, though, the National Golf Foundation reports that those participating in the sport has dropped 20-percent. Instead, home buyers are being more enticed with manmade lakes and agricultural communities.
Some developers are now looking to get rid of the golf courses. In some cases, land is being donated to nature trusts and local parks. Others are selling the land to builders. Homeowners aren’t happy with their backyard view being turned into something other than what they paid for — a golf course.
One example is in Phoenix’s Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course, shut down several years ago. Homeowners are up in arms, saying the old course is becoming an “eyesore” due to the barbed-wire fences placed around it. It didn’t help that the clubhouse caught fire. The new owner of the golf course recently announced the plan to redevelop the golf course into an agricultural community, complete with a community garden, school, and several hundred homes.
The plan in Ahwatukee is not a done deal since more than 2,600 residents, or about 50-percent of the local homeowner association, still have to approve the plan. The new owner, True Life Companies, though, says it’s out of the question to rebuild the golf course since there’s less interest today in golf than there was when the golf course closed in 2013.
So, whether it’s McCormick Ranch or another golf course property neighborhood, reality is that not as many people are interested in golf and down-the-road, more residential golf courses could be on the chopping block.