Originally posted by FullFledgedYYC
Willow Park membership is up. I think the big issue for many private courses is they are equity.
I can hear you, "huh? how is equity bad?"
Cash calls. Exactly why I joined Willow. I know what my annual is going to be, generally (might see small increases in future), and I won't ever be hit with "we are building a new clubhouse, you owe us 20k". I don't think many people in their 30s would like to get a notice they owe 20k just randomly one day... thus why a lot of private courses are not doing well.
That's my 2 cents.
That's true, however the other side of the coin is your equity share can become quite valuable (or plummet in value) with the economy. At Willow, the money you pay for your initiation is just gone, at least with equity you have a chance to make it back? haha. Equity shares at Pinebrook breached $100k back in '07 boom times.
I'm at Pinebrook (associate under family members, I'm not a shareholder). Shares last year were around $30k when they traded (plus 50% initiation fee due to the club when you buy one), then dues ~$6k/yr for the primary holder, +$3k for spouse. Which means, ~60 rounds to pay for it (I golfed over 50 last year) for the primary member.
More on topic though, it is a scary time for private courses. In Pinebrooks AGM/annual letter/etc last year, they stated that they'd be facing a membership cliff in the next 5-10 years, I'm sure due to the reasons stated in this thread. I would imagine that's common everywhere.
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