Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

But I Like Golf

Dateline: 11:19 am February 21, 2008 Filed under:

Golf is a pretty OK sport. I play twice a year. Apparently its popularity is declining, however. According to an article in today’s New York Times, the number of Americans who golf more than 25 times a year declined from 6.9 million in 2000 to 4.6 million in 2005. That is a huge loss. This corresponds with a broader decline in other outdoor activities such as hiking, tennis and skiing, which is a little troubling considering our rising obesity rate in this country.

The decline in golf has real estate development implicatons as well. The Times article indicates 3,000 golf courses were built between 1990 and 2003, but hundreds have closed in recent years as well, and plenty are currently for sale around the country. Considering the acreage of golf courses and their often pristine locations, I forsee a growing niche in golf infill redevelopment projects in the coming years. Master planned communities with golf courses may not be as affected as self contained public and private courses with valuable land. Of course, neighbors won’t want to give up their nearby open space. We’ll call them GIMBYs, for Golf In My Back Yard.

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