• Welcome To ShotTalk.com!

    We are one of the oldest and largest Golf forums on the internet with golfers from around the world sharing tips, photos and planning golf outings.

    Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon!

I had an idea...

lamebums

300 yards into the woods.
Jul 4, 2007
646
4
This thought struck me over a few drinks with my father as we were having dinner tonight.

I was thinking, in the next year or two, to begin putting things into motion to opening up a driving range around here. I've already done a decent amount of research on this issue. I'm thinking of the area of Union, Kentucky because it's a lot of urban sprawl with just houses and new subdivisions, broken by the occasional shopping center. The closest golf course is Meadowood, about 12 minutes away, and the closest driving range is a similar distance. (I don't know about Lassing Pointe, or if it has a driving range or not, but I am talking about a dedicated, purpose-built driving range here.) The only driving ranges I know of in all of Northern Kentucky are the Fort Wright Driving Range and the Town and Country center, about 20 and 25 minutes away from my proposed place, respectively.

Land in underdeveloped areas is absurdly cheap - I am talking about $15,000 an acre or less (I have seen $12k). Assuming a 10 acre driving range (300 yards long plus about 150 yards wide - comes to about 8 acres plus space for a parking lot and a shed, totals 10. The entire cost of buying the land, putting down a parking lot (gravel seems to be cheaper, at least temporarily until the operation gets going), building a shed and getting the necessary equipment will run about $220,000, give or take, say, twenty percent. I'd cut corners by having mostly grass tees - having mats plus the accompanying shelters is just more money and it seems a lot of people prefer grass anyway.

Now, figure this: It will be the only driving range within ten minutes, all of the surrounding area will be suburban homes, so there would be a pretty solid market. If a hundred people a day show up (I am being extremely conservative), and buy say, a $10 bucket of balls on average, that would be a thousand dollars a day. More would show up on weekends and during the summer, but less in winter and on rainy days, so it would average out. Assuming it's pretty steady all year, that would be 36,000 customers, or $360,000 roughly.

$360,000 minus the costs - say $30,000 to the bank for paying off a loan, $20,000 a year in maintenance, mostly range balls and mechanical equipment, another $40,000 or so in part time workers to help staff the place, means I'd have about $270,000 in mad money before taxes. Each year. Doesn't seem like a bad idea to me. I'd be prepared to eat a loss the first few months, but the place would pay for itself in 1-3 years, after which I am simply skimming money off the top. Retiring at 22 sounds like a great idea to me...
athesandtrap.com_forum_images_smilies_smile.gif


Even if I'm being overly optimistic and only 50 people show up a day - I would still make $90,000 in profit each year. I am guessing the average of one hundred a day because the ranges I know around here are jammed at peak times, with about 40-50 people on them at any one time (more would come but the parking lot is too small).

Thoughts, comments, kudos, criticisms? Please go ahead. I am seriously considering this, so I'll take any advice I can get.

(Also I might let Shot Talkers in for free, eh...)
 

VtDivot

SLIGHTERED
Supporting Member
Apr 16, 2005
7,154
32
Some things you would need to consider.

Zoning
Cutting in Utilities
Taxes
Legal
Advertising
Pro
Plus a huge initial outlay for machinery - mowers are expensive.


The bank will want 20% down prob since it is a commercial property also.
 
OP
lamebums

lamebums

300 yards into the woods.
Jul 4, 2007
646
4
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Some things you would need to consider.

Zoning
Cutting in Utilities
Taxes
Legal
Advertising
Pro
Plus a huge initial outlay for machinery - mowers are expensive.


The bank will want 20% down prob since it is a commercial property also.

Zoning - I will look into this when buying land.
Utilities - Minimal, probably. Electricity and water for the shed, that's about all I can see.
Taxes - Not sure exactly how much it will be, so I didn't figure it in (yet).
Advertising - Obviously in the months leading up to the opening I would run ads in local papers and such to get attention.
Pro - Might have this one solved already.
Outlay - I am assuming I will have a wad of cash on hand, from the bank or otherwise.

20% Down - That's why I'm putting it off for a couple years until I can get that. :(

There is a book I am ordering which tells you all about driving range operation and such.
 

mont86

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2005
3,663
4
Will all due respect, thats when I get in trouble, come up with an idea after a couple of drinks..:)

Whats the population of the area?

Does the golf course have a range?

And with another range so close it might be too much for that area.

How many cousres are within a 30 to 50 mile radius?

Last but not least is that the bank will want you to have more then 20% down for this type of venture..
 

clint

Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2006
185
0
When VT mentioned utilities I think he meant to have them installed. Assuming you'd be buying completely undeveloped land, it won't have water or power run to it yet. Not sure of the costs there, but a friend of mine just had power run to his farm and it was five grand and he got a good ol' boy deal too.

Also, don't forget about insurance. You'll need some sort of liability. You'll also need workman's comp if you have enough employee's to require it. Frankly, one employee is enough in my book especially when you've got people working down range of flying golf balls and using a lawn mower.

Another thing you might want to consider that'll make your range more attractive to customers...a putting green and a chipping green that has a couple of bunkers and enough space around it for a 30 or 40 yard approach. There's only one place in my area that has that and it's great. Too bad the actual driving range has mats only.
 
OP
lamebums

lamebums

300 yards into the woods.
Jul 4, 2007
646
4
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Will all due respect, thats when I get in trouble, come up with an idea after a couple of drinks..:)

Whats the population of the area?

Does the golf course have a range?

And with another range so close it might be too much for that area.

How many cousres are within a 30 to 50 mile radius?

Last but not least is that the bank will want you to have more then 20% down for this type of venture..

Population - Northern Kentucky is about 450,000 people. There is about eight golf courses, two of which, I want to say, have driving ranges attached to them, but no one uses them much. I am not counting private country clubs, as odds are I'm not going to draw this crowd in, anyway. There are four other "driving ranges" in the area, per se - but only one of them is a purpose-built driving range. The other three include a small driving range as part of a bigger sports complex.

Here's the deal about some place being 20 minutes away though - depending on traffic and time of day, 20 minutes could be four hours. Really. If anyone lived around here they'd know how messed up the roads and travel is around here. It's a dysfunctional system which (barely) works for the locals and probably hogties every passer-by.

More than 20 percent - that may be a problem but I am looking for financial backing should I get this ball rolling.
 
OP
lamebums

lamebums

300 yards into the woods.
Jul 4, 2007
646
4
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
When VT mentioned utilities I think he meant to have them installed. Assuming you'd be buying completely undeveloped land, it won't have water or power run to it yet. Not sure of the costs there, but a friend of mine just had power run to his farm and it was five grand and he got a good ol' boy deal too.

Also, don't forget about insurance. You'll need some sort of liability. You'll also need workman's comp if you have enough employee's to require it. Frankly, one employee is enough in my book especially when you've got people working down range of flying golf balls and using a lawn mower.

Another thing you might want to consider that'll make your range more attractive to customers...a putting green and a chipping green that has a couple of bunkers and enough space around it for a 30 or 40 yard approach. There's only one place in my area that has that and it's great. Too bad the actual driving range has mats only.

Utilities - I haven't thought about it that way. The most likely situation will be that I secure some sort of cash, which will be enough to get the place running plus an operating amount of cash to begin with. If my initial estimate is $220,000, I would take out say, 300,000 to cover such expenses.

Insurance - I would look into workman's comp if I hired some people, but liability in as far as customer safety is less of a certainty. I am more inclined to put up a sign saying "Play at your own risk", depending on how much it would cost to have insurance.

Attractiveness - I will definitely look into that. Later on after the range got operational, I would look into adding a snack area, a putting green, and a pro offering lessons after a while.
 

VtDivot

SLIGHTERED
Supporting Member
Apr 16, 2005
7,154
32
If my initial estimate is $220,000, I would take out say, 300,000 to cover such expenses.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You are going to need Major capitol (especially now) before a lender will even look at you.

What do you do for a living now? If you want to finance this yourself the bank is going to want to see some good income and credit.
 

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
3,986
3
I am more inclined to put up a sign saying "Play at your own risk", depending on how much it would cost to have insurance.

Those type of signs are worthless in the real world. If you have a bank loan they will more than likely require the insurance anyway to protect their investment.
 
OP
lamebums

lamebums

300 yards into the woods.
Jul 4, 2007
646
4
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You are going to need Major capitol (especially now) before a lender will even look at you.

What do you do for a living now? If you want to finance this yourself the bank is going to want to see some good income and credit.

Currently? Unemployed and no credit. Turned 18 a few months ago. Getting credit after I get a job, but my job search has been a catastrophic failure to date. :real angry:

I'm struggling over here. But I'm working on it.
 

Crossfire

PGA Apprentice
Supporting Member
Aug 10, 2006
810
1
Just turned 18? Hmm, Unless you have the full financial backing of your family, I'd say your kind of pissing in the wind. Don't get me wrong, it is a very good idea, however these kind of dreams rarely work out. Its great you have iniative and desire to do something, but that means piss if you dont have the willingness to go at it with the best possible plan. I'd suggest getting yourself some kind of formal education, even coming down to a school like PGCC, getting yourself a job in the golf industry to not only make some capital, but to make contacts, if you can get in touch with the right people in this buisness, all your wildest dreams can come true.

Either way, best of luck. If your serious about being an owner of anything, do your homework. Im a child of parents who opened up a 2 million dollar a year buisness, we were on the fast track to the American dream. 5 years later, they had 600,000 dollars of debt, and filed bankrupcy. Just a taste of reality for you.
 

VtDivot

SLIGHTERED
Supporting Member
Apr 16, 2005
7,154
32
I'd advise going to school to get some marketable skills. This idea can be a side project that you can work towards
 

Slingblade61

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Aug 26, 2004
6,042
125
In the meantime.....

Heated hitting bays.

3 simulator bays.

Pro shop.

Bar.
 

WildCatGolfer17

Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2007
998
1
I didnt read the Entire posts because I got Lazy but a BIG Expense is putting in 50 Ft Steel poles that are also 20 feet in the ground for Netting.. You need a crane for that... and thats alot of steel
 

Latest posts

Top