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

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SteveO

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Legendary stuff here no question. Best wishes on the rehab and progress looks amazing. What do golf courses do in the winter?
Our course makes about 70% of its annual income during January-March. Play has already started slowing down.
 

SteveO

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So I take it that you get a lot of Canadian vacationers ?

Do you also get Snowbirds golfing ? Or people from my part...the Midwest ?
Yes, a lot of Canadians. We do get some from the Midwest and northwest US also.
 
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SteveO

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Update.

We are solidly in the summer months. Temps are going to be 110 degrees today. We still had around 60 golfers.

Our summer play is increasing significantly over last year. We are seeing many new faces and hearing solidly positive reviews.

Our projections show an increase in income. Our expenses have increased as well. We will probably not make money this year but the future is looking good.

We spent the last 2 months cleaning one of the irrigation ponds. It was a ton of work. There are still improvements that need to be made to it but it is much better. It will likely take a couple of years for the water to clear naturally. Removing the cattails was a major part of the job. They like to grow back so it will be ongoing for a while.

Equipment is still tough also. Our schedule of purchases looks to be somewhere around 70K/year just for maintenance equipment. We have it built into our budget but it is a big number. Our energy expenditures are much higher though.

I have attached a couple of random pictures. Not really the better holes, I just randomly snapped these recently. The irrigation leak was just a small crack in the pipe but it put out a gusher of water. The break was four feet deep in the ground. pipe break.jpg 2016-06-16 19.07.04.jpg 2016-06-18 06.06.29.jpg
 

GPM

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Sounds awesome steveO!

Got a picture of that famous goose grass?
 

Dougema

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@SteveO the difference is extremely clear. The grass looks 100x greener and healthier than your first pictures. Congratulations on everything you're doing with this course! I hope I get to visit it any time soon.
 
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SteveO

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Sounds awesome steveO!

Got a picture of that famous goose grass?
I will take one later. Even though I put down 3K worth of chemical to block the seed germination, it is still growing in many places on the course. I initially began a scorched earth policy of spraying roundup in the areas where it is growing. But, it is sprouting in too many places. I fill a 5 gallon bucket every day as I drive around the course by just taking out the seedlings.

Next year I will map it all out and apply the pre-emergent chemicals in a more targeted fashion.

A picture will simply look like green grass though. The problems it causes will not be apparent from a glance.
 

JokerCrazyBeatz

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Reading through 8 pages of glory shows me I not only know nothing about life but I'm soooooo young in my entrepreneurial journey , this is motivation at its finest , congrats
 

SteveO

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Reading through 8 pages of glory shows me I not only know nothing about life but I'm soooooo young in my entrepreneurial journey , this is motivation at its finest , congrats
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.
 
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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
 

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. :)
 

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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.....
 
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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!
 
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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!!
 
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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!?
 

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!
 
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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....
 
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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.
 

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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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