Before and after photos show how dead golf courses are being transformed into housing, parks, and flood protection systems
Peter KoteckiSep 22, 2018, 20:00 IST
Xander Schauffele of the United States plays a shot from a greenside bunker on the first hole during the first round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 20, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Golf is steadily losing players. When the Sports & Fitness Industry Association released data on the number of players in 2015, it showed the sport's lowest point in recent memory.
More than 800 golf courses have closed across the United States in the past decade, and millennials don't appear to be as interested in the sport as generations past.
Shifts in work culture and the economy are partly responsible for this decline in popularity, as more people are working long hours and no longer have as much time to invest in golf.
But there's an upside to these closures: lots and lots of new space for developers.
Former golf courses are now being turned into residential areas, industrial spaces, parks, and detention ponds. Take a look at a few of the ongoing projects below.
The Apple Ridge Country Club, which was formerly an apple orchard, opened its doors in 1966.
Apple Ridge closed in late 2015. Last year, it was being treated for lead and arsenic contamination in the soil.
The country club was left uncared for after it officially closed.
In this photo from May 2017, a water fountain outside the country club is empty.
But in the past three years, developers have built nearly 80 upscale homes on the 108-acre property.
Andrea Mack, a spokesperson for developer Toll Brothers, told Business Insider that two separate neighborhoods are being built on the land.
One of them, Orchard Ridge at Mahwah, includes 34 homes.
The other development, Preserve at Upper Saddle River, has 44 sites.
Both Upper Saddle River and Orchard Ridge at Mahwah are in a relatively convenient location for New York City commuters.
Each of the new developments is located on a 36,000-square-foot plot.
Beyond residential units, some developers have decided to turn former golf courses into detention ponds.
In Clear Lake City, which is about 20 miles outside of downtown Houston, the water authority is turning a former golf course into detention ponds that can reduce flooding.
Four of the ponds were not yet built when Harvey devastated the city, and the fifth one was only 80% complete. Still, that pond kept about 100 million gallons of water from reaching Houston's drainage system.
Kelly Shipley, a project manager, previously told Business Insider that about 200 nearby homes were saved from flooding due to the pond.
In Belton, Missouri, a $105 million plan was recently approved to turn a former golf course into a 148-acre industrial campus.
More than 10 years after the golf course closed, the Southview Commerce Center is slated for groundbreaking later this year.
The development will include five buildings and is expected to create 1,400 new jobs.
When built, this project will feature light manufacturing, warehouses, and distribution space.