Golf is going global – and so is the opportunity to buy a home overlooking the pristine fairways and greens of new golf courses and resort communities.
This year, the European Tour’s 48 professional tournaments will be played in 27 different countries across all five continents of the globe.
Fuelled by television coverage and the celebrity status of top players including World Number One Rory McIlroy, golf’s appeal is extending beyond professional sport to a leisure led lifestyle on and off the course.
“Approximately 30% of golf courses currently under construction in the world are in Asia and half of these are tied in with large resort developments,” says David MacLaren, Director of Property & Venue Development at The European Tour.
“Real estate is now frequently part of the mix, creating the opportunity to buy into a sports and leisure lifestyle while investing in a property that benefits from being in a planned resort community.”
Black Mountain Golf Club & Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand, is one of the latest destinations to join the European Tour Properties network of world class golf venues, benefitting from an association with a world renowned brand and a televised professional tournament, the True Thailand Classic.
In addition to the resort’s five star amenities, including a spa, gym, tennis courts and a water park, a new residential community is emerging, featuring luxury course side villas, townhouses, condominiums and development plots.
“The appeal of living in a community with a world class golf course, all year round membership and resident benefits, as well as rental management services, makes golf property an attractive proposition to homeowners and international investors,” continues David MacLaren. “Venues in our network are also often close to major urban areas and enjoy a higher wealth demographic, good schools and infrastructure, further underpinning the success of the property offering.”
While the majority of golf and real estate projects in European countries faced challenging times during the economic downturn of 2008-13, developments within the European Tour Properties network – which has a marketing partnership with international real estate agency Fine & Country – and those with a focus on lifestyle, proved largely recession proof.
PGA Catalunya Resort near Barcelona and Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort, Provence, France – both European Tour Destinations – have outperformed the market and experienced price appreciation, fuelled primarily by international demand.
Elsewhere, local demand can be the main driver of real estate sales. At Estonian Golf and Country Club, near Tallinn, property prices have risen 100% over the past decade as city dwellers invest in premium homes on a growing golf and resort development close to the capital.
The European Tour is closely associated with Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, with which it has a long term relationship. The European Tour’s annual order of merit, The Race to Dubai, reaches its climax each year at the DP World Tour Championship, played at Jumeirah Golf Estates, one of the world’s most expansive and impressive integrated golf and real estate communities.
David MacLaren says: “As the venue of the final tournament in The Race to Dubai, Jumeirah Golf Estates benefits from significant media attention and global TV coverage. The stunning television pictures of the golf course and the residential community, playing host to some of the world’s best golfers battling it out in a dramatic sporting spectacle, is beamed around the world.
“Last year, the Championship delivered a marketing benefit of more than $300 million from global television exposure and this helped create a significant upturn in real estate sales.
“In many ways, it is the epitome of how a real estate development can successfully attract people who not only want to live next to a world class golf course, but who also want to enjoy all the leisure and lifestyle benefits of living within a resort.”
Five Selected European Tour Properties With Real Estate
Currently offering 1,050 townhouses, villas and apartments on the edges of its world-famous Fire and Earth golf courses, Jumeirah Golf Estates has quickly established itself among the world’s most prestigious residential golf communities, with buyers originating primarily from the UK, Northern Europe, and India, the majority of whom are Dubai-based expatriates. Jumeirah Golf Estates has a range of properties for sale with prices ranging from €800,000 to €1.3m for the recently launched Redwood Park townhouses and €2.8m to over €8m for luxurious detached villas in Redwood Avenue. The European Tour Destination has also launched apartments, with prices from €160,000.
Location: Within 30 minutes’ drive of Dubai International Airport
European Tour events hosted: DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
Accommodation options at Black Mountain range from luxury pool villas to stylish apartments, and extensive building plans are underway to add a choice of large and luxurious course-side villas and townhouses, all available for purchase. Land plots are also available adjacent to the Par-3 short course or along the 9th hole of the Championship course, with bespoke design and specifications. Black Mountain has townhouses and Par-3 course villas for sale from €312,000.
Location: 15 minutes from the coastal beach town of Hua Hin, Malay Peninsula, Thailand
European Tour events hosted: True Thailand Classic
The 750-acre estate of Terre Blanche offers a number of unique residential opportunities, with plots of 2,000m2 to 14,000 m2 available. In March 2015, a new real estate programme featuring villas sold off-plan was launched. The ‘Golf Residences’, consisting of 49 turnkey villas, feature neo-Provençal architecture and blend into the surrounding landscape. Built on serviced plots of 800-1300m2, the area is divided into three private and secured woods near the Albatros Golf Performance Centre: Bois des Oliviers, Bois des Arbousiers and Bois du Riou. Plot prices at Terre Blanche start at €700,000 and Maison de Golfeurs villas cost approximately €1.2m.
Location: 45 minutes from Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport; 90 minutes from Marseille Airport
European Tour events hosted: French Riviera Masters (European Senior Tour)
PGA Catalunya Resort has been voted Best Golf Resort in Europe 2015 (IAGTO), further enhancing its credentials as a world class golf resort and underlining the venue’s prestigious real estate offering that champions the works of award-winning and up-and-coming national and international architects. The upmarket development includes large golf-front home plots, luxurious family villas, a private enclave of semi-detached villas with extensive private gardens and a neighbourhood swimming pool, as well as exclusive apartments adjacent to the clubhouse. Prices of real estate at PGA Catalunya Resort start from €385,000 for apartments and €390,000 for plots.
Location: One hour from Barcelona; 10 minutes from Girona Airport
European Tour events hosted: Open de España; European Tour Qualifying School Final
Over the past 40 years, Quinta do Lago has established itself as one of the most prestigious golf and real estate developments in Europe. Low-impact and leisure-oriented, Quinta do Lago leads the way in how to combine residential living with nature, and beauty with lifestyle. Located in a protected nature reserve of stunning wetland scenery, the resort’s low-rise, low-density architecture and landscapes echo the natural surroundings. With its unique in-house credentials, it is no surprise that it has become the area’s undisputed market leader with the highest number of sales and listings in the region. Plot prices at Quinta do Lago start at €2.2m with only villa re-sales available.
Location: Faro International Airport is just 15 minutes’ drive away
European Tour events hosted: Portuguese Open