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Turn Pasture Into Profit: Build a Golf Course In Your Back Yard

Updated on October 25, 2011
Is this what you require of a golf outing?  Then keep moving, Pal.
Is this what you require of a golf outing? Then keep moving, Pal.

If you, like so many other people I know are serious about your game of golf and if your ideal afternoon is spent on the lush, peaceful, and impeccably manicured grounds of the local country club then this article really isn't for you and probably, you should just stop reading so as not to upset yourself.

If, on the other hand, you think golf is "a pretty fun game" but you don't play much because of the outrageous green fees and serious focus one finds on a normal golf course. Or if, like me, you don't like the pressure of other golfers "playing through" and your game actually improves after about a beer and a half, then it might be OK for you to read a little bit more.

Those of us who've been keeping up with current events have come to realize that times are hard right now in the US. People are looking for inexpensive alternatives to former favorite pursuits, so if you've got a few extra acres of land sitting around somewhere--I've got an idea for you. Build a golf course. Done right, it's dirt cheap (don't over think it) and with the right attitude and a little bit of advertising you can turn a small profit.

An interesting entrepreneur I know turned the acreage he lives on into a golf course that is open to anyone who just wants to play a quirky little 9 hole course a few miles outside of the city. He operates on the honor system, meaning there is a box up by the porch where players can leave a small green fee and after that, unless they have any questions, they're on their own. They can bring in their own coolers of food and drinks and as many people who would like to play are welcome. There are no T times and no pressure. This is actually my kind of golf.

The owner of this home made golf course used the natural layout of the land he owns and created a golf course complete with nine holes and water and sand hazards without having to perform any major effort. He bought very inexpensive used cups and flags from a local golf course, created rustic T boxes from native stone and planted Bermuda grass on the greens only. The fairways are covered with a more rough native grass but he keeps it mowed short (a riding mower is a must) and it works just fine. There's a sign down by the road that simply says "GOLF".

He relies on word of mouth for advertising and still manages to host both individuals and group events. The occasional tournament is held there by people who love to play and can appreciate the rustic humor with which the course was built. As it turns out there is a large but mostly hidden subculture of golfers who can do without high end creature comforts for a few hours if the price is right, and just enjoy the outdoors and the game. He would probably bring in an even larger number of players if he utilized social media to get the word out, but for now he seems content with what he has-- a low overhead, creative source of income.


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