Earlier today, the Palm Springs chamber of commerce held the ground-breaking ceremony for Miralon, the new ‘agri-hood’ will transform the former golf course there into working olive groves and community gardens, which raises questions within the Coachella valley community, if re-purposing golf courses is a good idea. As it stands, golf courses across the nation are being repurposed now that there isn’t as many golfers playing the sport, even right here in the Coachella Valley.
The desert has attracted big names and golf fans from across the world, such as former president Eisenhower and former president Nixon.
However, as the number of players decreasing, it raises the question of whether country clubs in the Coachella valley are going to hop on the trend and begin re-purposing golf courses for housing, parks, or public spaces.
“It used to be that 20-30 years ago, if you were going to build a house here, you had to make a golf hole. You know, that’s what brought people to the valley,” said Desert Sun columnist and sports writer Larry Bohannan.
In fact, we have lost four golf courses over the last seven to eight years.
“Palm Springs Country Club has been closed. Bel Air Greens has been closed as well. Rancho Mirage Country Club was closed and that golf course may reopen in 2020 with condo units and a hotel. And then there’s Santa Rosa Country Club closed and the long term plan is to build single family homes there,” he added.
Country clubs across the Coachella Valley have decided to make housing facilities instead of maintaining golf courses. However here at the Miralon, they have decided to take a more creative approach that not only helps the economy but also makes this dry golf could look and feel a lot better.
“It was originally seen as a golf course community, but we have re-imagined it. Now it will be a large open space that will have 5,000 olive trees. The olive oil will be made available to its residents,” Larry told NBC Palm Springs.
Which means, now that number numbers of golfers has declined from it’s 30 million peak to 23 million, developers will be looking at alternatives, whether that be parks, gardens, or even business homes, or things like that. However, for all of the golf lovers, good news is that Larry believes the Coachella Valley will always be a hub for golfers.