California industry coalition fights proposed golf tax

A coalition of California golf industry organizations, owners, operators, vendors and related enterprises has been organized to fight a tax on golf course greens fees proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The group’s website,, urges opposition to the proposed tax, which in some California cities could add more than 10 percent to current greens fees if imposed.

2008 course openings fall to lowest point in decades

New U.S. course openings declined to the lowest total in many decades in 2008, according to year-end tabulations by the National Golf Foundation.
Only 72 new courses, measured in 18-hole equivalents, opened in ’08, marking eight consecutive years of decline in openings from the all-time record high of 518 new 18-hole equivalents in 2000.
And for the third year in a row, course closures outnumbered openings, with 106 18-hole equivalents shuttering the doors in 2008 according to NGF totals.

GM buys Southern California property

Developer Roger Snellenberger recently sold the Indian Springs Golf Club in Indio, Calif., to the general manager of the property.
The buyer, Neil Finch, paid $6 million, with financing by Palm Springs-based Canyon National Bank. Finch will remain as the club's general manager. 
A 6,771-yard course, the facility was originally built in 1962 and redesigned in 2000 by David Ginkel.

Alabama course sells for $3 million

Two current staff members have purchased Magnolia Meadows Golf Club in Columbiana, Ala., for a reported $3 million. 
The new ownership group, Double Eagle Development LLC, is made up of course superintendent Wade Nielson and clubhouse manager Fred Payne.
The two bought the course from local lender M&F Bank after it had been repossessed twice following the death of founder Jeff Falkner in early 2007.
Comparable courses in the area have been selling with cap rates in the neighborhood of 5 percent.

Casper closes deal to operate Delaware property

Billy Casper Golf has finalized a management deal for a second property in Delaware, Delcastle Golf Club in New Castle.
Officials said they plan to make more than $800,000 in clubhouse and course-related upgrades as part of the deal. They also plan to add new golf carts and maintenance equipment and to make improvements to the driving range and miniature golf course.

KemperSports to manage Northern California course

The City of Alameda (Calif.) has hired KemperSports to manage the 36-hole Chuck Corica Golf Complex.
The East Bay complex includes two 18-hole layouts – the Early Fry Course and the Jack Clark Course – and a 47-bay lighted driving range.
William Park Bell designed the Fry course, which opened in 1929. The Clark course was designed by William Francis Bell.
The deal means KemperSports now has 12 courses in Calfiornia under management contracts.  


TaylorMade plans aggressive approach in ’09

Despite a successful 2008, officials at TaylorMade-adidas are gearing up for an expected downturn in the economy with a more aggressive approach at the retail level.
Chief Executive Officer Mark King, speaking Jan. 15 at a media gathering at the company’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., said that the company “is preparing for what could be” in the coming year.
Even though sales in 2008 were up 15 percent from the previous year, King said that “we looked at the reality of 2009 and don’t know what will happen.”

United States: Els-designed property opens in Hawaii

Hoakalei Country Club, the first private golf club on the island of Oahu in 30 years, officially opened its first nine holes for play Jan. 12.
Designed by Ernie Els, the planned 7,400-yard course is part of Hoakalei Resort in Ewa Beach, and was built by Haseko, one of Hawaii’s largest developers.
About 50 members already have joined, Haseko officials said. 
The club will include a residential element that will have 900 single-family and townhomes at final buildout. 


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