Truth & Rumors: Want your own golf course? It's a buyer's market

Friday March 16th, 2012

Got some bonus money to burn? Looking for somewhere to spend that tax refund? Fed up with slow play? Then buy your own golf course already. The timing is right, according to Bloomberg’s Christine Garvey, who reports that the median price for a standalone 18-hole course is now just $3 million, down from $4.5 million in 2006.

“Lack of financing is really causing a discount to value and investors are taking advantage,” Steven Ekovich, Florida- based director of Marcus & Millichap National Golf & Resort Properties Group, said in a telephone interview. “Golf courses may never be as cheap as they are today.”

Just ask Donald Trump, who recently bought Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami for a pittance: a mere $150 million. Actually, Garvey did ask Trump:

“They built too many courses during the Tiger Boom and now they’re closing and disappearing,” Trump said. “At some point enough will disappear that golf will be a really good business.”

In the meantime, you better be prepared to pay up front...

Golf course investment is also expected to increase this year, though it’s predicted to be a “cash heavy,” market until financing returns on a national platform, according to Marcus & Millichap.

Until then Trump, [golf course investor Peter] Nanula and other investors are seeking out properties. “I’m only able to do it because I can write a check,” said Trump. “Banks aren’t so generous these days so if you can’t pay with cash you might as well forget about it.”

Olazabal’s Ryder Cup options runneth over European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal has a nice problem: a wealth of seriously talented players who, at the moment, aren’t guaranteed a spot in the 2012 matches in Chicago, reports Bob Harig of ESPN:

…Several highly ranked players find themselves on the outside looking in at this point. Casey is ranked 27th in the world, Ian Poulter is 29th and Robert Karlsson 31st, and they would be in need of a captain's pick—again, we're way early on this—if the race ended today. Padraig Harrington, a six-time team member, is well out of the running, as his world ranking has slipped. Same for reigning British Open champion Darren Clarke.

Two members of the 2010 team—brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari—are also well outside the top 10. Same for Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Former Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell—who is currently 10th on the Euro points list—looks at the situation his way:

"There are probably 20 guys vying for those 12 spots. The European team is going to be seriously strong, we've got Sergio playing well, a number of great players.

"My schedule this year was all about picking up some Ryder Cup points. If you get too disconnected from the automatic spots, you've got a huge task on your hands. I'm not playing in Europe much in the first five months, and when I go back, I don't want to have too much catching up to do."

Rock and roll 'em: KISS course opens in Vegas The highly anticipated Kiss-themed mini-golf course debuted in Vegas on Thursday—and the reviews were stellar. John Przybys of the Las Vegas Review-Journal sets the tone with his lead…

The 18th hole requires you to make a forceful putt along Gene Simmons' outstretched tongue.

Well, of course it does.

What else would you expect at a miniature golf course inspired by KISS, the iconic rock band that introduced fire-breathing, fake blood and the power of a few good chords to generations of teenagers?

For some real fun, check out this outstanding photo gallery. Tweet of the Day

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