Property Development is like Playing Golf

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Surprisingly there are quite a few parallels between the game of golf and property development, and these can apply to something as simple as subdividing off your backyard, building a house or building a new housing estate or even a high-rise block of apartments.

How so you ask?

Hackers & Professionals

Golf is a popular game. Lots of people play it, ranging from part time weekend hackers through to full time professionals who earn a living from the game and a good one at that. Many people aspire to be like them.

With property development we also have the professionals who make their living from the game and lots of part time aspirants, the hackers, who also wish they could make a juicy living from the pursuit, and who see property development as a fast track to riches.

So, what are those similarities?

Well, firstly in both pursuits you need knowledge and lots of practice to play well and earn a good living, but it doesn’t stop there.

Both pursuits have a course. In golf the golf course is well marked out, the greens are identified, and players are provided with a course card which has spaces for you to fill in your score for each hole and sometimes shows a plan of the general layout of the course. The topography from one course to another is usually different and there will be sand traps and other obstacles along the way.

This won’t help in property development

In property development the course is the whole property market and while it may be less defined than in golf, there is, nevertheless, a guide. It’s called the Town Plan. It guides you by providing maps which divide the properties in the market into zones and guides you as to what can be developed in those zones. Just like golf, there are traps and other obstacles or constraints along the way. They can be overlays such a vegetation or flooding restrictions to name just two.

Flair & Variation

The game of golf does allow for a degree of flair and variation as does property development. In golf you have a variety of different clubs, conveniently numbered, to assist you to approach the course and the various challenges and traps it presents. Those choices will vary dependent on the player’s competency.

So – – What’s the secret??
Easy – just choose the right club of course

Similarly, in property development, the town plan, whilst being prescriptive to a degree, also allows for a degree of flair and variation in how you play the course e.g., Town Houses Vs Home Units; 2-bedroom Vs 3-Bedroom or will you prefer to subdivide? Knowing what the best choice is also requires a degree of competency.

The Parallels That Highlight the Differences & Difficulties

Most golf hackers do it for the love of the game or the challenge of improving their score or handicap and whilst they may well invest quite a few dollars in doing so, it’s unlikely to pose any real financial risk which is where the comparison between golf hackers and the property development hackers starts to vary markedly.

In both pursuits there’s a score. In golf it’s simply the addition of the number of times you have to hit the ball to the green and sink it in the hole. These are then added for each hole in the course to give you a total. The card you’re given at the beginning of your round of golf will also note, hole by hole, a score that is called ‘par’ which is a pre-determined score that a professional player (a zero handicap) is expected to equal or better when playing that course. This gives you a yardstick to play against.

No need to break your stick – Call us first

In property development the score is counted in dollars and is the summation of all the costs of doing a project. Par is competing effectively in the overall property market, to achieve the market price and make a profit.

In golf they signpost the hole that you are aiming for with a flag and quite often you are allocated a handicap, free of charge, that attempts to even the playing field, but in property development there are no such FREE offerings.



In golf the choices are relatively simple, offered by your choice of clubs. Sure, they may further extend to gloves, different balls, shoes or even an extra putter or driver, but are hardly likely to bankrupt you.

In property development choices extend to gaining development approval, deciding on and dealing with Council & a variety of industry professionals, some of whom may not be competent, building costs, quality of finishes, inclusions, and end pricing just to name a few. Get it right and you are on ‘par’. Get it wrong and you start to bleed financially; now that doesn’t happen in golf.

At SCM we specialise in keeping clients out of deep water

In property development it’s the developer through their vision and market knowledge who sets up the ‘course’ with the various constraints of their site (topography, location, zone, soil type etc.) which are the equivalent of sand traps, long grass, trees and out of bounds that will play a part in dictating their score.

If you’re a property development hacker, first timer, or somebody that is unsure of all the traps that are out there for the unwary, or simply too busy to handle your own project there is a ‘handicap solution’ for you too.

Jacon ParrySorry, and this is where it differs from golf. It’s not free but it will nevertheless be likely to save you money and a lot of frustration you will very likely encounter dealing with the sand traps, long grass and out of bounds in the property market.

It’s called appointing a competent Project Manager. He’s the property developer who will help your project achieve Par and also where you keep the profits – just like the professional property developers do.

If you have a property development project in mind, give Jacon Parry a call now for an obligation free discussion. 

He may not be a golf Pro, but does enjoy a regular game every weekend. He is a property development Pro however so calling him will definitely help you achieve Par in your property project, large or small.

Call [+61 7] 33697772.