The Findlay area will have one fewer golf course this year.
Oak Mallett Golf Club has been sold, according to Mike Mallett, who co-owned the course with his wife Anne.
The 9-hole course, located at 15925 Township Road 205 near the Findlay reservoir, changed hands on Thursday, according to Mallett.
New owner Levi Wittenmyer won’t use the 50-plus acre parcel as a golf course. The golf course’s Facebook page says the golf course will likely be farmed.
“We bought it in 1997 and the first five years it was gangbusters. We did great,” Mallett said. “The last 10 years were a struggle. We probably lost $350,000 during that time. The golf market peaked a decade ago and it hasn’t been the same since.”
Details of the sale were unavailable.
Mallett tried everything to make a go of it the last couple of years. The course even dropped its rates to $5 per 9-hole round but even that couldn’t turn things around.
“I think the high end courses are still doing fairly well. It’s the small courses where it’s toughest,” Mallett said. “Even if we didn’t sell, we weren’t probably going to open this year, it would have been cheaper not to.”
Mallett bought the course for $350,000 from Ken and Jane Parish, according to records on the Hancock County Auditor’s website.
The 9-hole, par-35, 3,109-yard course was originally built in 1931 and was known as Fairview Golf Course before it changed hands in 1997.
The closing of Oak Mallett is just a part of a nationwide trend.
More golf courses closed than opened in the U.S. in 2013 for the eighth straight year, according to the National Golf Foundation.
Just 14 18-hole courses opened last year in the U.S., while 157.5 courses were closed during the year, three more than a year earlier, according to the NGF website.
Since 2006, more golf courses have closed than opened each year. Of the closings, most were lower-end courses charging less than $40 for greens fees.
A net total of 643 18-hole courses have closed nationwide since 2006.
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