Owners plan to sell Auburn Hills Golf Club
The owners of the semi-private Auburn Hills Golf Club in Riner have engaged a real estate broker to sell the property, which sports an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and pool.
John Sutherland, a principal in the company that owns the club, said the decision to seek a buyer came down to economics.
“It’s hard times. How many businesses do you know that have went under in the last four years?” he said.
The 68-year-old Sutherland declined to discuss the listing of the property in more detail.
Auburn Hills is open to the public, though yearly memberships are available for purchase. Rated fairly difficult to play, it is the centerpiece of a golf community that consists of a number of high-dollar homes about four miles south of Christiansburg.
Algie Pulley was the course architect, and play began in 1999. The property, including a 156-acre golf course, is listed for sale for $2 million, according to Woltz & Associates. Montgomery County assesses the property at $2.01 million.
Golf is undergoing a recession-related dip. The U.S. industry saw a “slight decline” in the number of players and the number of rounds shot during the past few years, primarily attributable to the economy, said David Norman, who directs the Virginia chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association.
Owners feel the effects.
Golf course owners have costs to keep up a large facility with expansive fairways, manicured greens, tee boxes and hazards. Owners need corresponding revenue, and, when that falls short due to a drop in play or any other reason, this can be one reason a course is put up for sale, Norman said.
Sometimes, golf courses are converted to housing or sit idle as the owner waits for better times, Norman said. The number of golf courses in the country declined by about 160, or about 1 percent, in 2012, he said.
But golf continues to be popular, with about 11 percent of the U.S. population playing the links or hitting balls at a driving range or miniature golf course, he said. Virginia has about 340 courses.
Players were hitting this week at Auburn Hills during breaks in the weather.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1661
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