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Golf Course Real Estate still has a Pulse in the Heart of Texas

April 30 2011

The Old American – Hole 18

For many, it’s the American Dream: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of… Golf Course Living. In 2011, the first Baby Boomers turn 65 and the demand for golf course real estate in Sunbelt states will likely skyrocket as Boomers look for homes in a climate conducive to their hobby.

But those who have long dreamed of living adjacent to fairways and greens could be

disappointed. Development of a golf course community is exceedingly rare in this slumping economy. After almost two decades during which new golf course communities spread like wildfire across the Sunbelt, both the real estate and golf industries have suffered major setbacks.

In 2010, builders started on 15,000 homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies, Inc. That’s down nearly 70% from the 51,000 housing starts in 2006.

New golf course construction has also taken a major hit. The overbuilding of courses in the 90’s and early 00’s oversaturated the market. When the recession descended upon the industry, many courses were forced to close, some in the middle of construction.

With every rule, however, there is an exception. In 2010, only one course opened in The Metroplex. What vaults this course from exception to veritable anomaly is it is part of a residential community.

The Old American Golf Club, located in The Colony’s The Tribute Resort Community, opened its doors to public play in September 2010. In addition to fairways, greens, bunkers and water hazards, The Old American features brand new residential lots alongside select sections of the course and dozens more just off it.

The Old American and The Tribute were brought to life by Matthews Southwest, a DFW-based developer. In The Tribute, Matthews Southwest said they saw the opportunity to deliver a suburban community where people could enjoy one of their hobbies right outside their door.

Even in the down economy, Matthews Southwest reported a more than 100 percent year-over-year increase in residential lot sales at The Tribute in 2010.

As Baby Boomers and golf enthusiasts search for a place to live in harmony with the game they love, they may be hard up as developers and builders continue to tighten purse strings. However, The Tribute serves as proof that golf course real estate still has a pulse in the Heart of Texas.