While the rest of the real estate industry recovers from the downturn of the last several years, the golf course industry is struggling to emerge; it remains a buyer’s market. Some golf courses are converting to multi-use/multi-generational activities to attract more members and activity to their properties. Others are converting from "member-owned equity" clubs to privately owned "non-equity" owned clubs. Concert Golf Partners has a interesting comparison in the difference between the two types of club ownership structure on their website.
The more interesting trend which is affecting valuations is that much like other investment properties, the value of the real estate is now tied more to the cash flow generated by the business activities on the property rather than the raw value of the real estate.
Foreign buyers have taken notice and have arrived in North America to go shopping for investment properties. While the pricing may be attractive, deed restrictions requiring a golfing use may prevent redevelopment. So, to survive and thrive, golf courses need to take a lesson and perhaps change their swing !