Last Update :5/5/2017

Golf Property Analysts - Chip Shots: Hirsh Wins Award, Golf's Culture and more


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GPA president Larry Hirsh has been selected as the recipient of the George L. Schmutz Award for 2017.  The award was established in 1959 by the Appraisal Institute Education Trust to recognize an outstanding technical manuscript or publicatio on real estate valuation. 

The selection for this award was based on Hirsh's authorship of Golf Property Analysis and Valuation - A Modern Approach. The book, which offers insight and technical guidance on the analysis, valuation and marketing of golf course properties can be obtained by clicking on the book cover below through the Appraisal Institute.



It’s old news that our grand old game is shrinking.  Just last month, we also learned that its participants are aging.  According to the National Golf Foundation, in 2015 there were more than 1.6 million fewer golfers in the US than just 4 years earlier, with participation down to 8.2% from 9%.  Participation among minorities (non-caucasians) has dipped from 5.4 million to 4.7 million.  Not long ago, we learned that after years of golf’s largest player segment comprising of the 45-55 age group, it shifted to those aged 55-65.

The three groups golf constantly struggles to attract are millennials, minorities and women.

These facts are well known but what isn’t so well known is why the game is shrinking and how to reverse the trend.   We have some ideas.

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Everyone knows of the need to attract the “3 M’s” (millennials, minorities and moms) to golf.  For many years, I’ve advocated the more efficient use of golf’s real estate (land and buildings) assets to make the economics of golf more efficient.

Just outside Richmond, VA is Independence Golf Club (IGC).  Developed about 15 years ago, IGC was built by the Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA) as its home and designed by Tom Fazio.  With cottages onsite and a quality golf course open for public play and used for VSGA events, IGC was a concept of the times.  The VSGA sought to promote amateur and junior golf and was able to get grant money from the USGA for the project.

Over time, things changed and the VSGA sold the course to a group headed by Gif Breed, president of Pros, Inc., an athlete representation firm and Breed decided to launch a concept in golf not previously seen.

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Change is one of the most frequently used words in our society.  Presidential and other elections are often won or lost on the promise of change (or none). We change clothes routinely each day. We change the sheets on our beds periodically. We change how we cook the same foods in order to add variety to our lives.  Some people change the color of their hair on a regular basis. 

In the golf world, there are some changes which happen quite rapidly.  For instance, golf equipment has changed dramatically and quickly in recent years to allow golfers to hit shots further, and some would argue with more consistency than previously possible.  The golf ball has changed and now flies farther than the old balata covered, wound balls.  These are generally considered examples of positive change, though there is discussion about restricting the golf ball.

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Some current assignments include:

  • NY - Appraisals (2) for private clubs for tax certiorari matters
  • WV - Appraisal of expansion project for lodging and banquet facility at ski resort
  • DE - Appraisal of private club for sale considerations
  • NY - Litigation support for private club ownership dispute
  • VA - Private club appraisal for bank financing
  • NJ - Appraisal of private club for bank financing and possible sale.
  • NJ - Appraisal of private club for impact of avigation easement
    GPA president Larry Hirsh recently presented an educational seminar at the Pennsylvania Assessors Association on May 3, 2017.

To order our recently published, award winning book, Golf Property Analysis and Valuation - A Modern Approach, click on the graphic above. • 610-397-1818  •



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