Gary Player - why golf estates are failing

Golfing legend Gary Player recently spoke out about the poor performance of golfing estates in South Africa.

Gary Player spoke to Moneyweb about the reasons behind the poor performance of the estates and said that “an accumulation of mismanagement” is the reason behind the problem.

He further stated that the economic crisis is also a key factor but that a number of errors were made in the original planning and design phases of some of these residential manors.

Player stated that the courses are too difficult. He added that there was room for tough courses to cater for competitions, but not for leisure.

“If it’s not for a championship the last thing you should do is get an architect in to come and make it tough,” Player said.

Player, who is passionate about water conservation, says difficult courses require more water: “I don’t think anyone should be given rights to a golf course, from now on, unless they’re going to use the sewerage water, the effluent water.

“I’m a farmer, I deal with water every day of my life. And I’m a golf course designer and that’s the first thing I bring up when they want me to design a golf course. I bring up the water situation.”

Returning to golf estates in South Africa, Player said another mistake made was that courses were too long. Bigger courses meant higher maintenance and other costs which filtered down to members being charged a levy.

Some find themselves in financial trouble and having to bail out. “So, it’s an accumulation of mismanagement.” Player proposed that courses should consist of 12 holes as opposed to the traditional 18-hole course as many players simply did not have the time for the longer developments.

Player and his company Gary Player Design are currently involved in a number of projects overseas, including China, India, Montenegro, Cyprus and Morocco.

Asked to elaborate on developments in China, Player said that country understands the value of good publicity generated through sport. “Of all other sports in the world, golf helps tourism more than any other … by a mile.” Interest in the sport was also likely to increase now that it had been admitted to the Olympic Games. India, he said, was also trying to encourage its youth to play golf.

(Edited from Moneyweb)

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