Upper Burrell’s Oak Lake Golf Course to close | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Upper Burrell’s Oak Lake Golf Course to close

Mary Ann Thomas
1814614_web1_vnd-oaklakecourse
Paul Holzshu, 66, a retired basketball coach, chips onto the second green at Oak Lake Golf Course in Upper Burrell as the sun beams down on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.

After a failed sealed-bid auction to sell Oak Lake Golf Course in Upper Burrell last year, the owners will close the 18-hole course Thursday, Oct. 24 and hold a public auction two days later.

All of Oak Lake’s assets will be for sale at the Saturday auction, including the land, building, golf carts and other equipment.

The closure and auction are a planned exit for the Conley family, who “wanted to do something else with their time,” said Sandy Alderfer, the Conleys’ real estate agent and president of the national real estate auction company Tranzon Alderfer.

“There is no next generation to take over,” he added.

Mark Ferry Auctioneers Inc. of Latrobe will be auctioning the golf course equipment and items.

The family decided that golf north of the Mason-Dixon line is not a growing entity, Alderfer said.

Interest in golf has been declining, as evidenced by a slide in the number of golfers, rounds played annually and equipment sales, according a study by golf industry group Pellucid Corp.

“It is true that the number of courses being built now is not equal to the number of golf courses closing, but our area’s been pretty good that way,” said Terry Teasdale, executive director of Western Pennsylvania Golf Association in Pittsburgh. “I think in the last 20 years, I think it’s six that were closed.”

The 83-acre Brackenridge Heights Golf Course in Harrison is still up for sale, although the nine-hole course remains open. The golf course’s restaurant closed its daily service in 2017 but can be booked for events and banquets.

Alderfer said the Conley family wants people to know they are thankful and grateful for the business over the years.

The Conley family has owned Oak Lake for nearly five decades. They opened Oak Lake as a nine-hole, public course in 1958, then expanded it to an 18-hole course in the 1980s.

The buildings, golf course and land have a tax assessment market value of about $1.07 million, according to the Westmoreland County tax assessment office.

The Conley family put the course up for sale through a sealed-bid auction last year. There were interested buyers but no sale.

The course is on about 113 acres. It’s made up of three tax parcels in two zoning districts, agriculture residential and industrial. Some other allowable uses include vineyards, a farm market, single-family homes and recreational space.

“The zoning allows a lot of stuff,” Alderfer said, adding that some developers have shown interest.

“You could make some really nice larger home sites. There are spectacular views,” Alderfer said.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.