• It typically costs between $7 and $14 million to build a golf course, not including purchasing the land separately. The most crucial part of the construction is building the greens, which can cost up to $60 per square foot.

Breaking down some of the costs, here are some pricing factors to golf course construction:

  • Construction of a golf course can vary in cost, depending on a number of factors such as the size of the course, the type of terrain, and the necessary infrastructure.
  • Costs can range from $10,000 to over $1 million.
  • Key expenses include mobilization, layout and staking, erosion control, clearing and grubbing, topsoil strip and earth moving, drainage, and irrigation.
  • Greens can cost between $3/square foot and $60/square foot to build, depending on the size and type of green
  • Every hole needs at least 4 tees, which can add up to 86,000 square feet of surface area
  • Bunkers are priced at up to $4 per square foot to construct
  • Cart paths can cost upwards of $500,000 to build an 18-hole elite golf course
  • Water features and lakes can cost up to $200,000 to construct

It was early morning and the sun had barely started to peek over the horizon.

I sat in my car, engine idling, hands tightly gripping the wheel.

I stared at the building in front of me, trying to muster up the courage to go inside. It had been a long time since I had been here.

A few months ago, I had come to this very same building with the intent of investing in a golf course. I had always loved golf, ever since I was a kid. And as an adult, I saw the potential in building a golf course. It would be the perfect way to spend my retirement years.

So when I was approached by the developers about investing in their project, I didn’t hesitate for a second. The only thing left to do was sign on the dotted line.

But now, as I sat in my car outside the building, I wasn’t so sure anymore. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

For one thing, it would cost millions of dollars and require a lot of manpower and resources. And there was no guarantee that it would succeed- it is a HUGE endeavor. So I would need to partner up with someone if I wanted to make this happen.

But who could I partner with? The developers were out of the question – they were only interested in making money and wouldn’t care about how well the golf course actually turned out.

Here’s a vision of what my golf course would look like:

imaginary scottish golf course

My friends and family members weren’t interested in getting involved either. They all thought that I was crazy for even considering it.

I sat in my car for hours, wrestling with myself over what to do.

Finally, as the sun started to set, I made up my mind and drove away from the building. Maybe one day, when things were different, I would come back and try again. But for now, it just wasn’t meant to be…

So, how much does it actually cost?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions amongst golf enthusiasts. At the same time, it’s also the most difficult to answer. Golf courses are an integral part of any community. However, they are costly to build. It’s why they are rare.

Whether you are considering venturing into the business of running a golf course or you want to know the rates for general knowledge, here is an in-depth analysis of how much it can cost to build a golf course.

Average Cost of Building a Golf Course

Stunning big island of hawaii golf_course landscape

Another gorgeous rendering

Before we get to the details and the factors that affect the price of building a golf course, it’s imperative that we provide you with an estimated figure. The average cost of erecting a functional golf course is around $14 million.

You can build golf courses with as little as $6 million. Or, you can go as high as $30 million. It all depends on the amenities, features, location and many factors we will discuss in detail below.

What Factors Affect the Price of Building a Golf Course?

There is no doubt that building a golf course is expensive. Here are some expenses that accumulate to the estimated average price of $14 million.

Land

Land is the most expensive thing that goes into building a golf course. Take an 18-hole golf course, for instance. Such a course can only be built on 150 to 190 acres. How much does an acre of land cost in your area? Do the math.

The size of land needed is slightly smaller when building a 9-hole course. The average cost of an acre of land is $12,000 per acre in most areas. That translates to almost $2 million for an 18-hole golf course.

Assuming that you own a piece of land would be a massive relief because it will lower costs.

Design and Planning

Design and Planning

After obtaining a piece of land, what follows is design and planning. There are different types of golf courses that have varying designs. With a design in mind, planning can begin.

A survey is a critical part of planning as it determines where the trees, highways, and landscape will be positioned.

For planning, design, architect fees, and local council approval, you can spend from $100,000 to $200,000.

Hiring a Construction Firm

Mobilization is the first step in actually building a golf course. This entails hiring a construction firm. This will be a recurring expenditure because the agency will be working on your project for a while.

The overhead costs of hiring a construction firm are around $150,000. You will also need to outsource equipment, machinery, and tools.

Erosion Control

Another expense that is involved in building a golf course is erosion control. This ensures the course is in excellent condition. Depending on your location, it can cost you $200,000 to $250,000. Some companies offer both erosion control and ground clearance. This will cost an extra $80,000.

Also, the topsoil must be removed to eliminate the old turf. That will set you back around $400,000 for an 18-hole golf course. You can get a considerable discount by hiring one company to work on everything.

Drainage and Irrigation

Drainage and Irrigation

A well-designed golf course must have excellent drainage. This ensures the course can be accessed all year round, irrespective of the weather. You will have to hire a drainage company, buy pipes and catch basins that can act as irrigation reservoirs.

The latter is crucial in ensuring the course is always green. To implement a drainage and irrigation system in an 18-hole course is roughly around $2 million.

Tees and Bunkers

Tees and Bunkers

Bunkers and Tees are an essential part of any golf course. Starting with tees, they need proper drainage and should be laser grad to achieve a flat surface. Tee construction will cost around $300,000.

On the other hand, bunkers need to be shaped according to the golf course design. They also require piping and sand. That will be $100,000.

Additional Costs of Building a Golf Course

  • Cart paths – $1 million
  • Seedbed preparation $200,000
  • Grass growing and maintenance $1 million
  • Shaping $200,000
  • Greens $500,000
  • Earth moving $1.5 million
  • Man-made Lakes and water features cost $200,000 to $500,000

The Bottom Line

Building a golf course is a costly venture that requires at least $6 million. The cost varies depending on the golf course type, location, features, amenities, quality, terrain type, climate, and much more. If you are considering building a golf course in your community, take the time to evaluate the total cost to avoid overspending.

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