ELOY — As golf courses continue to close throughout the state, one in Pinal County may be going in the opposite direction.
More golf courses have closed in Arizona than opened the last eight years, according to the National Golf Foundation. A 2013 study by the foundation notes the industry nationwide has lost 4.7 million golfers since 2005.
San Miguel Golf Course, visible from Interstate 10, has been closed for the past three years and is currently for sale for $2.5 million, or $11,600 per acre.
A city official told PinalCentral a perspective buyer has a contract to purchase the property but is still working out some details.
“He’s in due diligence,” Eloy City Manager Harvey Krauss said. “He hasn’t closed on it yet, so he’s in the process of checking it out to see if he wants to buy it. I don’t know whether or not he has put a deposit down
Homeowners near the course may soon have some new neighbors as Krauss added that the prospective buyer will look to clean up the golf course and then plans to fence off a small area for some ostriches.
“I guess there’s some biomedical usage for the ostrich eggs,” Krauss said. “It’s not going to be by the houses and (the buyer) went out there to HOA meetings and explained everything. They weren’t real excited, but they appreciated us telling them about the project.”
According to Krauss, the city and the homeowners are glad that there is a potential buyer who is looking to clean up the golf course.
“We’ve attended HOA meetings and are keeping the HOA up to date on stuff,” Krauss said, of city staff. “They have a board and we’ve been at the meetings about what’s happening there and even the prospective buyer has been there.”
Although there have been other potential buyers in the past and deals have fallen through, the city still offered discounted water.
“I met with one potential buyer and I offered him water at a discounted rate, less than what we paid for it,” Krauss said, “but he didn’t follow through.”
The course originally was operated by the city, which owns the water utility that serves much of Eloy.