Man Filling Out Papers with PenApproximately 150 golf courses close each year.  This has been the trend for past 5 years at least.  And, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Many of these golf courses are associated with – and impact adjacent residential real estate.  But, what happens to the land when a golf course closes.  Today, this issue is being hotly debated all over the US.

The National Law Review posted this recent decision related to a Florida golf course – the Calusa Country Club, which – “…gives new hope to developers seeking to lift antiquated encumbrances that constrain redevelopment. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey recently ruled that a restriction prohibiting development on 160 acres of land located on the property formerly known as the Calusa Country Club did not fall under an exception in the state law.

The ruling negates a 1968 restriction that allowed no development on the property other than a golf course for 99 years, without approval of 75% of the 248 adjacent residents. The majority of residents opposed the proposed redevelopment of the golf course as a state-of-the-art adult community.”

The article goes on, stating this “… could be a harbinger for future fights between residents and owners of restricted sites. Large tracts such as Calusa are an appealing redevelopment target, particularly in areas where undeveloped land has become scarce. Developers are increasingly interested in turning these underutilized properties into new residential and commercial/industrial developments.”

This is golf’s new frontier.  As we continue to close golf courses, we must also find a way to repurpose this land.   In a way, golf has provided us with an incredible opportunity.  Large land tracts – near residential areas – preserved for a time.  Now, we have a chance to repurpose these parcels.  It seems like a golden opportunity.  We need all parties to understand the importance of these opportunities. We have a chance to do something meaningful for future generations.  So, what will we do?

Read the entire article by clicking this link to the “The National Law Review”.