Jeff Woolson Jeff Woolson

Golf courses may be a potential gold mine for housing development. Assuming that developers can get around potential deed restrictions, these large pieces of land could be potential fodder for new housing construction. The State of California is experiencing an extreme housing shortage—and an affordability crisis—as a result, there has been a new trend of developers redeveloping whole golf courses or portions of golf courses into residential housing. Golf courses, which are operating businesses, are often sold at a discount to development land sites.

“One of the bigger trends we are seeing is the repurposing of golf courses,” Jeff Woolson, EVP and managing director of golf and resort properties at CBRE, tells “The golf industry got way overbuilt in the 2000s. Developers were building more than a golf course a year for 10 or 15 years, and they weren’t building them because they thought it would successful. They were building the golf course as an amenity for residential community. That really cannibalized the existing golf courses because the sport has not expanded, yet the number of golf courses grew dramatically. Now, it is just the opposite. There are more golf courses closing a year for the last several years than opening, and developers are trying to repurpose a lot of the golf courses that are closing. That is a huge trend right now in the business.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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