Sunday, September 22, 2013

florida as too many Golf Courses!

By Jan Bergemann
Published September 6, 2013
For years, we’ve heard or read about the lawsuits that occur when associations buy "bankrupt" golf courses from developers, or when associations make golf club memberships "mandatory." Thus, the golf course curse begins!
Let’s make no mistake! It happens all over Florida, and these lawsuits, normally, end up being very expensive, costing vast amounts of time and money. And, sadly, they are also costly to relationships within the community: neighbor turning against neighbor.
But, we always hear: "It is contract law! You knew what you were getting into!"

Which is exactly why the status quo should stay as is! It’s all about the contract!

Did the contract state that the community owns the golf course or that membership in the golf club is "mandatory" for all homeowners? Read Carefully!

Just because the golf course/club gets into financial trouble is not a valid reason to saddle non-golfing residents, who never intended to play golf or be a member of the golf club, with expenses. To me, common sense dictates that the folks who want to play golf should pay for their own entertainment, not force their neighbors to finance their fun.
Other reasons for so many golf club community lawsuits reside in the facts:
  • Florida has too many golf courses;
  • The cost of maintaining an 18-hole golf course has about doubled in the last seven (7) years;
  • The number of golfers in Florida is decreasing, according to the PGA; and
  • The generation of new retirees, the baby-boomers, is not as eager to play golf as the former generation.
Thus, we can see why so many golf courses are in financial trouble today and are closing their doors.
No matter what the proponents of HOA’s purchasing a golf course or making golf club membership mandatory tell you, a golf course is not improving the property values of the homes in the association. A golf course is a serious financial liability; and, in many communities, it is dragging down property values.
The former sales incentive that caused buyers to pay extra has turned into a curse! And any board members and golf fanatics who are still "gung-ho," trying to buy a golf course for the community, offered by a near bankrupt developer, have either not learned anything from the past examples, or they just want their neighbors to pay for their entertainment.
You’re still not convinced that a golf course is more a curse than a smart investment?
Florida’s media reported a myriad of golf course lawsuits: Golf Course Curses. Please read the following articles; you’ll understand the reference to "Curses":