Our company and leadership team has overseen the development of at least $350 million of club construction and renovation. We have worked with many of the most notable golf course and clubhouse architects and contractors along the way.
New course and clubhouse construction and renewal is always a very exciting time. Seeing 175 acres or so come to life as a golf course and clubhouse is pure fun. Visions become realty one cubic yard, one bushel of Bermuda grass sprigs, and one brick at a time. In fact, we recently finished the $32 million rebirth of the historic Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, a revolutionary new reversible golf course. See www.bobbyjonesgc.com.
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 many variables and unknowns out of one’s control, particularly when the work is spread across 150 to 200 acres. Adverse weather, artifacts uncovered, unexpected rock, erosion control issues, approval delays, arbitrary inspectors, washouts, design changes, turf diseases, are a few the classic offenders. And of course, the hall of fame budget and time killer, the change order.
The solution is to be aware of these 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 for delays, interruptions, and surprises.
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?
Minimizing these risks also includes hiring experienced professionals who have done this many times before.
Like Bobby Jones Links.
The Bobby Jones name can be an asset to your club, but that’s not our focus. We realize every club is unique and its brand is special, which is why it is about you, not us, and why we always work in the background.