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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tax and Spend: Golf community members plug golf course leaks, buff up their courses

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        If you are a homeowner, you know the roof starts to leak at about the 20-year mark.  If you are a golf club operator, you know the irrigation system is on about that same schedule.  The mid 1980s were the heyday for golf community development along parts of the southeastern seaboard, and after two decades, many of the finer private golf clubs in the

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Low Country of South Carolina began to spring leaks, literally. Three of them -– Haig Point on Daufuskie Island, Dataw Island near Beaufort, and Callawassie Island in Okatie –- all opened within a year of each other in the mid 1980s and, almost like clockwork, their irrigation systems started to pop their fittings in the 2000s.  After a few years of playing Little Dutch Boy and fixing the leaks as they occurred, members at these three golf clubs opted to pay for entirely new irrigation systems (some through one-time assessments, some through a dues increase).  And as long as the patient was on the operating table, they also approved significant cosmetic surgery as well, renovating bunkers and greens and planting new and hardier grasses not available two decades ago.  The investments ran to the millions but as one general manager told me, “we really had no choice.”

        The results are impressive and the upshot is that couples looking for a stable private golf club should seriously consider golf communities in which the members understand the relationship between the quality of their clubs and their own long-term property values.  That is the subject of this month’s Home On The Course eNewsletter, which mails to subscribers on Monday (it’s free, by the way).  There is still time to sign up to receive the August edition and all future issues.  Just click on the box at the top of this page, fill out the basic information and that’s it.

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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.