Back to Their Roots: American Golf Courses Being Bulldozed Into Farms

The challenging golf course business combined with the increased demand for organic food has started a trend:

Golf courses are being plowed under to make…farms.

Some, which were originally built on farmland, are literally going, “back to their roots.”

For example…

In Fall City, Wash., Tall Chief Golf Course is reverting to a dairy farm.

In Tempe, Ariz., Rio Salado Golf Course is being turned into an organic urban farm and community space.

In Otsego, Mich., Prairiewood Golf Course is becoming a corn farm.

In Cool Ridge, W.Va., Lakeview Golf Course was turned into an organic produce and egg farm.

While we hate to see golf courses go away, farms do seem like a better way to preserve greenspace.

But here’s the irony:

In some cases, it seems like “community farms” are replacing golf courses as the new real estate hook.

There’s already a new word for farms that anchor real estate developments: “agrihoods.”

And agrihoods are hot.

"The first 20 lots that I priced were sold in 48 hours,” said restaurateur Steve Nygren in a July CBS News report about his Atlanta-area agrihood called Serenbe. “And the next group [was] sold in about six weeks.”

And we’re not talking about downmarket housing, here.

The CBS report said the average home at Serenbe, “costs $700,000 -- five times more than other homes in the area.”

And according to Ed McMahon, a researcher at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C., developments like Serenbe are growing like weeds.

“Today there are literally hundreds of them, and I hear about a new one virtually every week,” McMahon said in the CBS piece. “Putting a farm in the middle of development is relatively low-cost, and it's something that seems to resonate with lots of people. So I think we're gonna see a lot more of these kinds of projects going forward."

Here's my question:

Are these community farms or “agrihoods” preserving open space, or are they encouraging more housing developments?

Or, are we simply swapping one amenity (golf) for another (farm) in housing developments that would be built anyway?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor and the Managing Editor of the Golf Vacation Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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Back to Their Roots: American Golf Courses Being Bulldozed Into Farms
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