Saturday

Rising Commodity Prices & The Fate of a Popular Golf Course

Corn, it seems, is the culprit.

The U.S. government’s backing of corn-based ethanol has created steady demand for the classic mid-western crop and hastened a steep rise in the value of land that can produce it.  Rising global demand for grain certainly plays a role as well.

In Mason County, IL this is a welcome reversal of fortunes for families who struggled during the farm crisis, but it's putting one of the area's most popular golf courses at risk. 

Crane Creek Golf Course, a highly-rated 18 hole course in Kilbourne, will go one the auction block next week, part of 347 acres owned by Chicago-based St. Andrews Properties, Inc.

The property will be sold in five different tracts,  three of which contain the front nine holes, the back nine holes and the clubhouse. Those three would need to be purchased together in order to keep the golf course, and golfers across the state are hoping that happens, but there are also some major doubts. 

Ken Nofziger works for Murray Wise Associates, the firm in charge of the auction, and he speculates that the golf course may not be around for much longer, stating “Where commodity prices and land prices are today it wouldn’t be surprising if somebody stepped up and said we could make a lot of money if we convert it back to farmland."  Additional details on the precarious case of Crane Creek appear in this pjstar.com piece,

The auction will take place on Tuesday, February 21.