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
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 .

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