Golf courses have become extremely competitive with one another especially during times of economic turmoil when courses will often reduce their fees to draw players. One of the best ways a course can distinguish itself from lower quality courses and to attract their target player is to adequately refurbish the course itself. Greens, bunkers, fairways, tee boxes, even cart paths have useful life expectancies after which they will typically become old and “tired” looking.
Typical useful life and issues:
- Greens – 15-30 years (compacting, drainage, irrigation restrictions, playability)
- Bunkers – 5-7 years (sand depth, drainage, liners)
- Tee Boxes – 50-20 years (size, useable area, level)
- Fairways – Wide ranging and potential long life of over 30 years when properly maintained
- Cart Path – 15-30 years (cracking, root damage, drainage)
A replacement reserve study will guide a course in adequately reserving for these longer term costs that are often overlooked or ignored with sever financial consequences. Expensive loans are usually the result of ignoring these costs which tend to arise between the 20-30 year marks.
All golf courses have a character about them that attracts their specific target player. Whatever this is, it is important to make sure the course continues to have or elevate this characteristic if the course has the long term goal of retaining the level and type of player that it has grown accustom to. Adequately planning and reserving for these expenses in a manner which is realistic and not financially burdensome, in this competitive environment, is not easy but is possible for when utilizing the services of a professional.