Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Careful analysis realised golf course’s whole potential

The decline in the leisure economy prompted the owner of Hertfordshire golf course to exit the business but marketing it as something other than the whole paid dividends.

The facts initially facing owners of properties such as golf courses are rather stark. The land at this particular course was worth maybe £2,000 to £3,000 an acre in its leisure use but, with potential to make £10,000 an acre, marketing as agricultural land made sense.

Allowing for the cost of restoration, we believed it had reasonable prospects of making at least £8,000 per acre. Private discussions with local farmers saw the property sold, exceeding the guide by a significant margin, with some additional sales around the edge to other buyers.

The original owner of the 230 acre Golf Club, near Royston, is delighted with the outcome. The club consisted of 185 acres of golf course, a reservoir,

golf driving range, green keeper’s store, clubhouse including bar restaurant, pro shop, and changing facilities, and car parking. 

Its price as a golf course did not reflect its true value and the owner naturally wanted the best price achievable because it had become uneconomical to run.

By reviewing its potential, confirming its agricultural value, and successfully negotiating the sale the outcome far exceeded the owner’s original expectation. The sale was also completed far more quickly than it would have been if the course was still trying to find a buyer in the leisure sector, which is still struggling to return to normality as the country climbs out of recession.

Not everyone has a golf course to dispose of but we frequently come across areas of land that could be marketed in a creative way to appeal to the wider audience in order to maximise the value.

Mark Russell


Mark is a rural partner responsible for agency and professional work in East Anglia. Since qualifying in 1998 Mark has undertaken asset management of institutional rural property, advised landowners,...

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