Old 10-12-2019, 06:34 PM
Gblambert Gblambert is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Marcos, Texas
Years Playing: 6.6
Courses Played: 29
Throwing Style: RHBH
Posts: 239
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Yep, making a profit as a disc golf course owner is tough to do. The biggest hurdle is usually paying for the land itself. Land in highly populated areas is expensive and difficult to pay back with disc golf course revenues. Land in less populated areas is less expensive, but will have fewer local players to help support it. In this case the OP's friend has a nice head start towards profitability by already owning the land.

The OP's other questions about green fees and amenities and maintenance will ultimately be determined by the marketplace. Owning a disc golf course is like any other small business. Its success or failure is determined by how well the owners attract customers (players) and how well they respond to the needs of those customers. Before spending the time and money needed to open a new disc golf course, it would be a good idea to do a little homework first. For example:

How many players live close enough to you that they would call yours their home course? Green fees and memberships will be the backbone of your business.

What is the skill level of the local players? This could effect the type of course you build. If the majority pf your customers are casual, weekend players, then you may want to think twice about building a championship level course, even with 76 acres at your disposal.

How many other free courses are in your area? Any pay-to-play? You'll be competing against all of them. To entice players to your course where they will pay a fee when there are free courses nearby, means you'll have to do something special. Your course will have to be better than the free courses and you'll need the standard amenities in place: good tee pads, signs, rest rooms. trash cans, etc. If you're competing against another pay-to-play course nearby, then your place will need to be as good or at least offer something different.

In my opinion a profitable disc golf course requires as many revenue streams contributing to the bottom line as possible. Luckily,there are lots of other options that work well with disc golf like opening a pro shop to sell discs and snacks, offering packaged foods or maybe a food truck, a robust tournament schedule, an area set aside for overnight camping or maybe an onsite bed and breakfast, etc. Which of these might work for your friend will depend on her location and the size of the local disc golf scene.

Of course, there's another option that requires no research, significantly less work, and very little upfront capital. The OP's friend could make a quick course by using the tractor to cut 18 fairways, put in a drop box by the entrance, and collect a few green fees every now and then. After reviewing all of the options, this may actually be the more profitable alternative.
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