Golf courses are struggling to stay afloat as they wait for players to return

Updated: Oct. 14, 2020 at 4:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Golf courses in Hawaii are taking a hit amid the pandemic.

Some privately-owned golf courses have already permanently closed while others have handed their keys to their landlords.

“The golf course business has been deteriorating for a while. Now with COVID, it’s really struggling," said real estate expert Stephany Sofos.

Last month, the owners of the Koolau Golf Course in Kaneohe shut down after 28 years.

The course was forced to give up its lease due to financial hardship.

The Pearl Country Club in Aiea, whose owners include the heirs to the Honda Motor Company fortune, will give the golf course back to landlord Kamehameha Schools at the end of the month when its lease expires. The Honda family has owned the club for more than 44 years.

Kamehameha Schools said it has hired a golf management company, which will operate the golf course.

Sofos said privately-owned clubs without large dues-paying memberships have been hurt the most.

She said the tourism shutdown and social distancing requirements, which reduced the number of players at one time, have decimated their business.

“It’s going hard to recover when you only have 25% of your people that are allowed to play,” she said.

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