Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Week That Was, december 11, 2016

     Nobody ever said that making Scotland great again would be easy, and now it appears that the President-Elect has ticked off some members of Trump Turnberry. The Sunday Post reports that Trump Golf has levied a 38 percent tariff on the club’s membership fees, increasing the annual amount to £2,500. An unidentified member, characterizing the increase as “a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum,” believes that Trump has raised prices to clear out the local riff-raff and usher in a wealthier clientele. Which is probably true. But let’s put the price rise in perspective: Assuming that the limits on tee times aren’t too onerous, how many U.S. golfers would jump at the chance to join a newly renovated Trump Turnberry, a former Open Championship venue, for a lousy $3,143 a year?

     As part of its continuing effort to generate tourism, the government of Sri Lanka is implicitly expressing its faith in golf. The island nation wants to bring at least 1 million travelers annually through the recently opened but little used Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, outside Hambantota, and it needs crowd-pleasing attractions to do it. Therefore, its minister of public administration and management is reportedly “looking for land to build a golf course” in nearby Uva Province. No details have been announced, probably because it’s way too early in the process, and the government isn’t likely to undertake the venture without private-sector assistance. Besides, Uva is among Sri Lanka’s larger provinces, occupying nearly 8,500 square miles, so the search could take a while.

     The original version of the preceding post first appeared in the September 2016 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.

     Slowly but surely, a town on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia is making progress on its volunteer-built golf course. Maleny Golf Club opened the first nine holes of its Graham Papworth-designed track in 2015, and last month it received a $100,000 grant that will enable it to add three more, hopefully by 2018. If you’re wondering when all 18 holes might be completed, well, nobody has set a schedule. But in this case, time isn’t of the essence. The people who are building the municipally owned course see a bigger picture. So far, they’ve spent $750,000 on design and construction, and the Sunshine Coast Council believes the track is already worth at least $3 million to the local economy. What’s more, the course may turn out to be a gift that keeps on giving, because it serves as a training center for a new generation of golfers. For many in our business, golf development is meaningless unless it’s accompanied by six-figure initiation fees or a place on a top-100 list. Maleny is a vision of what else golf might be.

No comments:

Post a Comment