EAST HADDAM, Conn. – Remember the 1980 worldwide hit song by British rock band “Queen” called “Another One Bites the Dust”?
Well that title aptly describes what’s been happening to golf courses across America the last few years. According to the National Golf Foundation more than 200 courses closed in 2017 across the country while only 15 new ones opened. More than 800 have shuttered from 2009 – 2015. Golf course closures aren’t all that newsworthy anymore.
Closures have become part of the current golf landscape. Facilities that aren’t near high-population centers or fail to take care of themselves properly, whether that’s marketing or course conditioning, are most susceptible.
The golf industry went through a building boom in the 1990s and early 2000s, driven by developers who used golf courses as amenities to help sell homes. But the closures also reflect changing preferences for leisure activities. Participation in the sport is down 20 percent since 2003.
So, it’s no surprise to see another New England course “bite the dust” which is happening to Black Birch Golf Club in East Haddam, Connecticut. The 18-hole par 72 golf course designed by Donald Ross in 1923, is scheduled to go to auction on January 30 at 12 noon by the J.J. Manning Auctioneer company.
The property includes a driving range, tennis courts, pool, pro shop, restaurant, sauna & fitness area inside the 25,000 sq. ft. clubhouse, with 10,000 sq. ft. of 2nd floor banquet/event space unfinished and ready for build out by the future buyer to their own specifications.
According to the notice of pending auction by J.J. Manning, the entire property also known as “Banner Country Club Estates” contains over 400 acres with 285 approved condos are to be built with 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom units in up to 11 phases.
A site tour is scheduled January 24 and qualified buyers must bring a $100,000 certified check to the auction.