Not in my back nine : an examination of land use disputes over golf course redevelopments in America
Author(s)Meisenholder, Haley C.
Examination of land use disputes over golf course redevelopments in America
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
.Lawrence J. Vale.
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Golf courses in America delineate and identify landscapes of luxury, exclusion and abundance Golf courses in the Southwest are part of an invented tradition and the product of land speculation occurring after post-World War II suburbanization. Golf courses were built within master planned suburbs to inflate property values and to sell a middle-class cultural standing. Following the tradition of the exclusive country club, these new housing subdivisions sought to provide access to a new social network or identifier. In the Southwest, the amount of resources needed to create the lushness of the course is in stark contrast with reality the desolate natural landscape. Since 2000, golf has seen a decline with decreases in membership and a change in middle-class values no longer upholding the sport. Over 1,000 golf courses have closed over the last decade, opening up over 190,000 acres potentially for a new use.With many of these courses considered community amenities, homeowners are fighting redevelopment efforts happening in their backyards. Through interviews, site visits, archival and media research, three exclusionary tactics are identified in three case in the Southwest. One case argues the golf course use is mandatory for the open space requirement of the master planned community. Ecologically, courses within the Southwest require more water than other courses in America. Legal requirements, like CC&Rs, are used to keep the golf use in perpetuity, no matter its economic success. Without legal backing, homeowners may use their social and political clout to demand the use remain in the community. Through these mechanisms, the invented tradition upholding this exclusionary use is continued. Communities fear a change in use will decrease their property values and bring new unknown neighbors.Each of these communities independently is deciding the "highest and best" use of the newly vacant land. As courses continue to close across the United States, the future uses and impacts of these conversions remains unknown.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2019Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-105).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.