Stan Richards, owner of Albany GC and Blackford GC in Indiana, has purchased Lakeview Greens GC in Eaton, Ind., but work now being done on the 54-year-old rural property indicates it is either being plowed under for agriculture or to prepare it for housing development. Richards told a local newspaper he will either farm or sell the land, noting “a lack of people playing” golf there.
Trees are being knocked down, flags are missing from the greens and the fairways are looking more like roughs at Lakeview Greens Golf Course in Eaton, Ind., reported The Star Press of Muncie, Ind.
A pond is being drained, a logging truck reportedly was spotted and rumors are circulating that the 54-year-old rural golf course will be plowed under for agriculture — or turned into a housing development, The Star Press reported.
And one neighbor says somebody bought the clubhouse and lake for a home.
Tax records indicate the 108-acre property was purchased by the Stanley R. Richards Trust on May 18 for $525,000, The Star Press reported. Stan Richards is a name known in local golf circles as the owner of Albany (Ind.) Golf Club and Blackford Golf Club in Hartford City, Ind.
But Richards told The Star Press he bought Lakeview Greens GC with the intentions of either farming or selling it.
“It’s been for sale for how many years?” Richards asked, before then adding that was because of “a lack of people playing.”
Though he owns two courses, Richards was reluctant to comment to The Star Press on the state of the golf industry, saying his opinion could be wrong.
But Cindi Cronk, Business Manager and Executive Member Concierge at the National Golf Foundation, told The Star Press that any suggestion that “the closure of one course is indicative of any trend in the local market is a major over-reach, in our opinion.”
“Like virtually every U.S market over the past 30 or so years, there was a major 20-year boom in golf course construction — more than 4,000 new courses, 40 percent-plus growth from 1986 to 2005 — followed by subsequent natural supply-demand market correction with course closures during the past 10 to 12 years — roughly a seven-percent decline nationally,” Cronk said.
“Indiana is still very much net positive in terms of golf course supply, with 47 more golf courses today than there were in 1986 — 403 vs. 356,” Cronk added. “In other words, Indiana is incredibly well-supplied with courses at various price points.”
For The Star Press’ full story, go to https://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2018/06/19/eaton-golf-course-closes-permanently-not-trend/701279002/