What do you do with a failed golf course?


It’s a great story, but it’s really hard to me to understand that it was so difficult to find 200 acres in middle Indiana to have a wildlife preserve. It’s not as though the state is heavily populated, is it? Or over-factoried?

Is there something going on in Indiana none of us have heard about?

Part of it is the type of property…having the creek helps for a wildlife preserve and also makes it hillier than your typical Indiana farmland. (Although southern Indiana isn’t that flat, Northern is. )

Plus that section of Indiana, from NW Indianapolis up to Lebanon has been being developed like crazy the last decade. The number of data centers is mind boggling. The NE side of Indianapolis has also been growing like crazy.

I return home there a few times a year and am always shocked at how many farms have been turned into developments. It used to be you were out of town in 15 minutes, now it’s more like 45 or more and growing.

Also, this part of Indiana is big on the spring bird migration so having a preserve here is a great location.


Zionsville is about 15 miles from downtown Indianapolis. When I was a kid it was rural. Now it doesn’t even count as suburban.


Zionsville is also one most affluent areas of the state. Ave household income is about 190k (median about 100k - more than 2x the rest of the state). The northern corridor of Indianapolis includes Zionsville, Carmel (with a dip down into Meridian Hills), and Fishers - all home to CEOs, ballers, etc.

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And my mom, still living in the starter house they bought 56 years ago this summer. We just laugh every time someone buys a lot, tears down the house and puts up a McMansion or adds an addition that doubles the size of the existing home…her property value just goes higher and higher. Not bad for a $19,000 investment in 1967. The Meridian Hills area is especially popular for folks to either tear down or expand on an existing house since it’s closer to downtown. (and to quote one CEO in the neighborhood - “not as uppity as Carmel” :slight_smile: )

Let’s not forget the race car drivers among the CEO and ballers. Scott Dixon lives a block away. Frank Riech, before being fired as the Colts coach, was the next block over and a former player was across the street.

Not bad Mom & Dad, not a bad purchase at all!


Some Frank Riech trivia: As a college QB, he lead the biggest come from behind win of all time (at that time).

As an NFL QB, he also lead the biggest come-from-behind win of all time (at that time).

And both times he was filling in for the season starting QB who was out with injuries.


19,000 in 1967
1,500,000 in 2023
That’s an 8.1% IRR, pretty good considering you can also live in it for 56 years! I know, I know, everyone will say that the S&P500 did better, but you can’t buy 19000 of S&P500 index fund with 20% down and a 30-year mortgage.


That and you also get the imputed value of rent, which would be a lot of money over that time period.

We’re in our 2nd ‘starter’, 1st was a $14k 1000sf Young America home, in 1968, by '74 we moved on to the 1500sf home we’re still in, so 49 years here, Prop 13 kept out taxes down, relatively, but we have poured a lot of cash into upgrades, remodels, many I did myself, no so much any more… Added a 15x24 shop years ago, concrete pad for the RV, paver drives. walk, tore out all the carpets, eliminated all the asbestos popcorn ceilings, ducting, new roofs, furnace & A/C… No plans on going anywhere, one day it will be turned over to orson, daughter’s family as is set up in out Trust… Meantime, kick back, enjoy the foggy mornings… And access to anywhere we need to wander… Not a super high real estate area, but comfy, strange to be the senior folks in the Court… My guesstimate is in the $700k’s somewhere, maybe more, but no plans to sell…

And then there’s all this ‘stuff’ I collected over the years, tools n such… Adds a bit of tonnage, I guess…



That would have made an awesome disc golf course!