Bobby Jones Links and leadership partners have overseen the development of at least $330 million of new golf course and clubhouse construction. We have worked with many of the most notable golf course and clubhouse architects along the way.
New course and clubhouse construction and renewal in our business is always a very exciting time. Overseeing the development of 175 acres of raw land and watching it become a golf course and clubhouse is pure fun. Visions become realty one cubic yard, one bushel of bermuda sprigs, and one brick at a time. In fact, we are currently finishing off the $32 million complete rebirth of the historic Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, a revolutionary new golf course. See www.bobbyjonesgc.com. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for Bobby Jones Links.
Yet, in spite of all our success and experience in this arena, we also occasionally bump into the same two problems every time. The same two everyone else does as well:
1. It always takes longer than you think.
2. It always costs more than you think.
You might say this is poor planning. But, in course and clubhouse development, there are so many variables and unknowns out of one’s control, particularly when spread across 150 to 200 acres. Adverse weather, artifacts uncovered, unexpected rock, erosion control issues, approval delays, arbitrary inspection decisions, washouts, design changes, turf diseases, are a few that come to mind. And of course, the hall of fame budget and time killer, the change order.
The solution is to be aware of these occurrences and plan for them from the start. It begins with having a very generous contingency in a budget – at least 10% of the total cost. It also includes allowing delays, interruptions, and surprises. If you first think a project will be complete in June, plan on September, or later.
Minimizing these risks also includes hiring experienced professionals like Bobby Jones Links who have done this many times before.
The good news it is always exciting and always worth navigating the unknowns that come your way. Seriously, what could be more fun than building or renovating a golf course or clubhouse?
The principals of Bobby Jones Links own the company - we are not driven by investor expectations and pressures. Our balance sheet is strong.
As a result, we don’t leverage our operational leadership across too many clubs. And unlike many companies in our business, we don’t require long term management agreements with large breakup fees. If you like what we do, you’ll keep us. For more than two decades our clients have renewed our management services more than any other company.