Your next Amazon shipment might come from a former golf course.
Golf has gotten a lift during the pandemic as an outdoor sport with easy social distancing, but that’s not enough to counteract two other market forces — more courses than the market needs, and companies hurting for warehouse space amid surging online commerce.
Amazon and UPS recently took over shutdown golf courses to open up large warehouses, according to Bloomberg.
In addition to warehouses, some courses have been turned into housing developments and parks, while others have repurposed space for baseball fields, putt-putt golf courses, disc golf, skate parks, and community-supported agriculture. One course in Houston was converted into a “detention pond” to absorb water from Hurricane Harvey.
The number of U.S. courses increased each year from 1987 to 2005, according to the National Golf Foundation, adding 4,567 in total. Since then, however, the golf courses have seen net closures nearly every year, losing 1,645 over that span.
Now, many course owners are finding the land they own to present a great opportunity.
“With golf, you’re just limited to the income of the ongoing business concern,” Keith Cubba, national director of Colliers’ Golf Course Advisory Services, told Bloomberg. “There’s going to be a much higher yield on 200 acres of residential or commercial.”