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GOLD! Margaritaville (I've Bought A Golf-Course!)

JokerCrazyBeatz

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Thanks but there is no glory here. It is 8 pages outlining the business challenges which are never easy.

btw... This transaction for the gc was considerably less than the last commercial deal that I did. The last one was a retail strip center. It makes more cashflow and is a lot less work. Our original intention was not to work so much but rather play golf and hang out. Turns out that I can't really do that.
I understand that . But its still glory to me b/c each trial over come is a seed of success being planted. And i know it may not feel that way but im confident you will make it , and finally get your chance to play golf and hang out . It makes me realize sometimes we dont appreciate obstacles as much as we should . But one day you will look at this thread like "I did it" by focusing on 1 hurdle at a time i reached the finish line
 

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jon.a

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I understand that . But its still glory to me b/c each trial over come is a seed of success being planted. And i know it may not feel that way but im confident you will make it , and finally get your chance to play golf and hang out . It makes me realize sometimes we dont appreciate obstacles as much as we should . But one day you will look at this thread like "I did it" by focusing on 1 hurdle at a time i reached the finish line
That's exactly how he views it now. :)
 

ZCP

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Got a course map book for sale at the counter?
App for $1.99 that has yardages and helps put their score in the system? (Could use for coupons)
What do you use for online booking?
Got a players club for off peak hours discounts?
Local college professors that would like to use your course as a lab for agronomy, horticulture, turf grass, etc.?
Most colleges with agriculture programs will allow you to send a soil sample, then recommend what to add to get certain things to grow.
Interns from local mechanic school?
Oldest son recommends you download SimGolf and try to put your course in. One of the keys in it is creating points of interest on the course that stimulate conversation.
Good overhead picture / map to put a dot for problems on the course. Might help identify issues and trends.
Add a pin positions map to the carts. Make sure the starter tells them.
Charity golf tneys..... lots of sponsors....

Random thoughts.....
 

andviv

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Our original intention was not to work so much but rather play golf and hang out. Turns out that I can't really do that.
My friend, not working is something you don't have in you...
 

SteveO

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Got a course map book for sale at the counter?
App for $1.99 that has yardages and helps put their score in the system? (Could use for coupons)
What do you use for online booking?
Got a players club for off peak hours discounts?
Local college professors that would like to use your course as a lab for agronomy, horticulture, turf grass, etc.?
Most colleges with agriculture programs will allow you to send a soil sample, then recommend what to add to get certain things to grow.
Interns from local mechanic school?
Oldest son recommends you download SimGolf and try to put your course in. One of the keys in it is creating points of interest on the course that stimulate conversation.
Good overhead picture / map to put a dot for problems on the course. Might help identify issues and trends.
Add a pin positions map to the carts. Make sure the starter tells them.
Charity golf tneys..... lots of sponsors....

Random thoughts.....
Easy now... too many things at once! :)

We are working on some of these things but absolute fundamentals are the focus for now.

Thanks.
 

SteveO

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It has been one year now.

A coupe has occurred. We have hired the director of golf and the course superintendent from our closest competitor. They came to us because of the direction that things are taking at our venue.

We did not turn a profit the first year and did not expect to. The plans were to have the course in good shape in two years. We accelerated this and the course is almost fully up to speed. The addition of the super is major. I was able to plow though most of the issues and get the grass moving in the right direction. The equipment is also fine tuning. But, the small details on the flatness of the greens, speed of ball roll, and other nuances need to be dealt with by a professional. I looked all year but was not able to find a suitable person, then one just waltzed in!
 

JokerCrazyBeatz

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It has been one year now.

A coupe has occurred. We have hired the director of golf and the course superintendent from our closest competitor. They came to us because of the direction that things are taking at our venue.

We did not turn a profit the first year and did not expect to. The plans were to have the course in good shape in two years. We accelerated this and the course is almost fully up to speed. The addition of the super is major. I was able to plow though most of the issues and get the grass moving in the right direction. The equipment is also fine tuning. But, the small details on the flatness of the greens, speed of ball roll, and other nuances need to be dealt with by a professional. I looked all year but was not able to find a suitable person, then one just waltzed in!
Your progress is motivation !
 

Iwokeup

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It has been one year now.

A coupe has occurred. We have hired the director of golf and the course superintendent from our closest competitor. They came to us because of the direction that things are taking at our venue.

We did not turn a profit the first year and did not expect to. The plans were to have the course in good shape in two years. We accelerated this and the course is almost fully up to speed. The addition of the super is major. I was able to plow though most of the issues and get the grass moving in the right direction. The equipment is also fine tuning. But, the small details on the flatness of the greens, speed of ball roll, and other nuances need to be dealt with by a professional. I looked all year but was not able to find a suitable person, then one just waltzed in!
I don't think that he just "waltzed in," @SteveO. Rather, you and your team focused on increasing the inherent VALUE of the course via the physical upgrades AS WELL as the personnel upgrades and by instilling a CULTURE that accepts nothing less than the best from everyone, including yourself.

I don't have to tell a former Marine (yeah yeah, I know..) that the Old Boy Network beats any Advertising Scheme in the world, and likely your new Super has been listening. And that you led by example. :tiphat: That kind of action gets noticed.

Well done!!
 

MJ DeMarco

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They came to us because of the direction that things are taking at our venue.
Value attracts many things... Funny how that works eh!?
 

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nath1027

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Not really wasting away though. Too bad that I don't drink alcohol!

My wife and I have just gone under contract to purchase a golf course in Arizona. It is a major decision for us.

We are sitting in the prime situation of having enough income to live off of from our properties. So, it makes sense for us to dive into a business that we love!

It is a full golf course with eighteen holes, a practice range, and clubhouse.

The course is in bad condition with a large investment fund owner that does not seem to understand that you need to put money in to get money out.

There is still a full range of due diligence to be completed but we have done a lot of it already.

Seems that just sitting or goofing around is not in the cards....
Incredible. I'm really excited to sign onto forums Im really trying to take my life to the next level and constantly am getting scammed or into situations purly for profit so I'm very happy to be apart of a source of entrepreneurs such as this.

This has been ver motivational to read, I really hope you get it all sorted and hopefully I can come use the course sometime. People like me could learn a lot from someone like you Stevo.

All the best.
 

SteveO

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We are in the process of preparing for the winter season. It is the busy time of the year for us.

The course is now being over-seeded with rye and bent grass seed. These are temporary grasses that stay in place while the Bermuda goes dormant. The cost is incredible. Just the material (seed, fertilizer, and applicants) cost 90K. That does not include the labor and massive use of equipment.

Last year we spent about 35-40K on the process. We are doing it up this year!

Our business has increased significantly. We are up over 100% in revenue for September compared to last year. Our total summer was up over 40%. Literally over 100 people have told me how much the course has improved. Some have said that it has never been this good.

We are all in at this point!
 

MJ DeMarco

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We are up over 100% in revenue for September compared to last year. Our total summer was up over 40%.
Great news brother, people are VOTING with their dollars. And you are winning the election.
 

CPisHere

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We are in the process of preparing for the winter season. It is the busy time of the year for us.

The course is now being over-seeded with rye and bent grass seed. These are temporary grasses that stay in place while the Bermuda goes dormant. The cost is incredible. Just the material (seed, fertilizer, and applicants) cost 90K. That does not include the labor and massive use of equipment.

Last year we spent about 35-40K on the process. We are doing it up this year!
Wow! And I wondered why golfing was so expensive...

Did you have additional capital available & set aside for this type of investment when you bought the golf course? Or is this new loans based on your financial performance?

Aside from the purchase price, what are the capital requirements/economics of a golf course like?
 

G-Man

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@SteveO Thanks for taking the time to log all this including all of the work and details you had to learn and get under control.

Really inspiring to see the raw diligence. Setting the bar pretty high.

Reminds me I have a packing debacle I should be focusing on instead of drinking coffee and reading 7 pages of this thread....
 

Get Right

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Sorry to bump an old thread but I was just wondering how things are going with the course? I love reading the updates!
I've heard the course is in great shape! I'm scheduled to play it in February.
 

Almantas

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Your journey is pure legendary.
 
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SteveO

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Okay, okay... It has been a while.

The course is in great condition. There is grass in places that have been bare for years. The greens are in great condition. We added tee boxes, took out a problematic lake (still have 7 lakes) and are about 75% of the way though the sprinkler repairs. Our ponds were overrun with cattails. We have removed all of them. That was a large undertaking that involved hundreds of hours of labor. It was necessary though. Pump stations have been mostly rebuilt for efficiency.

The sprinkler project has primarily been fixing damaged wires and perimeter heads that have been neglected.

Our course used to be the worst in the city as far as playing conditions. It is now rivaling the country club which has historically been the best. Some of their members are buying annual passes with us and leaving the club.

Income is up around 30 percent. We are expecting a strong winter season this year also.

Expenses have been high. The cost of the sprinklers and pump stations has been over 600K. Labor costs have skyrocketed. We have 29 employees with the majority at the minimum wage level. Half the jobs are retirees looking for extra income. The minimum wage jumped considerably.

We are not making money yet but getting close.
 

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SteveO

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We broke even last year. Income this year is well ahead of last. Expenses are up a little but this year is looking promising.

I have been spending a lot of time on the commercial property this year. Put it on the market and just went under contract.
 

SteveO

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My intent right now is to finish selling everything off. We are building a house on thirty acres up on the side of a desert mountain. We are also enjoying our travel trailer a considerable amount.

We may jump back into the real estate game when most of the seasonal buyers have gone away.

My wife and I are feeling the stress from all the work during the past few years. It is time for some leisure enjoyment.
 

GPM

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Hope you have a guest room for me and my wife to come stay in the new place!
 

SteveO

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Everything is still going well. Income is still climbing every year. The course looks better than ever. I only spend a few hours a week working. Now that the business in Phoenix is sold, I can redirect the focus. Diddle on the golf course and plan the home build.

I stated that the home was going to be on 30 acres. I am buying up more of the land, splitting lots, and shaving 3, 3 acre parcels off of the 40. They are on the other side of a ridge so I won't be able to see the houses from my lot.

Fun!
 

Iwokeup

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Everything is still going well. Income is still climbing every year. The course looks better than ever. I only spend a few hours a week working. Now that the business in Phoenix is sold, I can redirect the focus. Diddle on the golf course and plan the home build.

I stated that the home was going to be on 30 acres. I am buying up more of the land, splitting lots, and shaving 3, 3 acre parcels off of the 40. They are on the other side of a ridge so I won't be able to see the houses from my lot.

Fun!
RE to the bone. Haha
 

SteveO

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The golf course is officially listed for sale. It could take months or years to complete a complex transaction like this.

The initial gross income for the business was $975K per year. Last year, we were up to $1.6M. This year is tracking slightly ahead of that. Weather has slowed us down a bit this year. Colder and wetter than normal.

Looking for retirement at this point. Probably spend time on note investing and land deals. Low stress and limited time types of things.
 

G-Man

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Looking for retirement at this point.
You don't mind me asking Steve, how old are you? Do you feel like you'll be able to make the adjustment to low activity without going crazy?
 

SteveO

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You don't mind me asking Steve, how old are you? Do you feel like you'll be able to make the adjustment to low activity without going crazy?
I am 60. When I was 40, I stepped out of the work role for a number of years. Traveled a bit, rode my bike to the gym everyday, ran a lot of miles, hiked a lot in the mountains, played golf, went 4-wheeling, etc... Did that for about 8 years before the market collapsed and I had to jump back into the game.

So, yeah... I can do that!
 

ZCP

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@SteveO could ride one trail in his back yard for 2 years......
of course then he would get distracted, buy the adjoining 1000 acres, sell 99 smaller lots for 50x more than he paid for the whole thing, and then start a wind farm you could see from space ......... all while being retired......
 

andviv

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@SteveO could ride one trail in his back yard for 2 years......
of course then he would get distracted, buy the adjoining 1000 acres, sell 99 smaller lots for 50x more than he paid for the whole thing, and then start a wind farm you could see from space ......... all while being retired......
Exactly what I was thinking.... his "retirement" definitely does not meet the expectation for most people...
 

SteveO

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MJ asked for the story that I touched on in another thread.

We have an annual winter grass over-seed to prepare the golf course for winter play. Our summer grass goes dormant in the cooler weather. About $60-70 thousand dollars worth of seed and a couple of weeks of prep by the entire maintenance crew goes into this process.

We still allow play but carts cannot drive onto the fairways or anywhere around the greens during this time. Each person is told this as they check in, the carts have signs, and there are other signs stating this.

Last fall as we were in this process, I spotted one cart that had driven up close to the greens. So, I went to inform the driver that he cannot park off of the cart path while the new grass was growing in. He drove away from me as I was talking to him. I let it go as I was sure that he had heard enough.

A couple of holes later, I spotted him in the middle of the fairway. I approached him again and started talking. He cut me off, stuck his finger in my face and said "Now you listen to me....". I cut him off and said "No, you listen to me. Get off my golf course".

He actually refused to go and told me that he would only go if our GM told him to leave. I told him that the GM would not override my decision and that he needed to leave.

His group left. They went to the clubhouse and complained a bit to the GM. Have not seen them back.

This guy owns a large law firm in town. Talk went around the golf community. A number of people asked me if I really removed him from the course.
 

SteveO

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Update. We had a good winter season.

The majority of our cashflow comes from January through March. Very short season. But the books are filled all day every day though this period. The only exception is cold, rainy, windy days. Sometimes the course gets shut down completely. So we don't like bad weather days during the winter.

Unfortunately, we had more than our share this year. But on the bright side, we were still ahead of last year by a few percent. Even though last year was near perfect for weather.

Still marching ahead.
 

luniac

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MJ asked for the story that I touched on in another thread.

We have an annual winter grass over-seed to prepare the golf course for winter play. Our summer grass goes dormant in the cooler weather. About $60-70 thousand dollars worth of seed and a couple of weeks of prep by the entire maintenance crew goes into this process.

We still allow play but carts cannot drive onto the fairways or anywhere around the greens during this time. Each person is told this as they check in, the carts have signs, and there are other signs stating this.

Last fall as we were in this process, I spotted one cart that had driven up close to the greens. So, I went to inform the driver that he cannot park off of the cart path while the new grass was growing in. He drove away from me as I was talking to him. I let it go as I was sure that he had heard enough.

A couple of holes later, I spotted him in the middle of the fairway. I approached him again and started talking. He cut me off, stuck his finger in my face and said "Now you listen to me....". I cut him off and said "No, you listen to me. Get off my golf course".

He actually refused to go and told me that he would only go if our GM told him to leave. I told him that the GM would not override my decision and that he needed to leave.

His group left. They went to the clubhouse and complained a bit to the GM. Have not seen them back.

This guy owns a large law firm in town. Talk went around the golf community. A number of people asked me if I really removed him from the course.
guy sounds like a real prick.
shoulda made a lawyer joke lol!
 

Veloce Grey

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The only exception is cold, rainy, windy days. Sometimes the course gets shut down completely. So we don't like bad weather days during the winter.
What's the actual criteria for closing the course down in terms of water? Where I play it's a bit rural and possibly has amongst the highest rainfall of any course in the country, so I've had many days where balls on the fairway vanish under mud. If I play early morning in winter even on fine days the greens are covered in dew which tends to make putting quite tricky. But I'm not sure they really "close" the course as such unless the river alongside starts flooding it again.

I've been playing far more this year and got my first birdie ever last week. I've gone to the city a couple of times to play on fancier courses with bunkers/water hazards-the fact I scored 141 and then 133 leaves bountiful room for improvement :)
 

MJ DeMarco

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The golf course is officially listed for sale.
Wow, I missed this.

Time for a new challenge? Retiring? Bored? Travel?
 

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