PGA Tour golfer Stuart Appleby plays around 25 to 28 events a year and stays at numerous hotels. But about five times a season, he rents a private home. His wife and manager select where they all will stay by looking at photos online. "We returned to one home at the Masters for 10 years in a row," he said in an email.
The Applebys have four children, so the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and how close the home is to the golf course are all important details. "We like it to be within 10 minutes of the course," he wrote.
Hunter Haas, also a PGA Tour golfer, is on the road approximately 30 weeks a year. He usually stays in private rental homes or with friends for about six or eight weeks while on the road.
Haas' wife goes online and chooses the homes they will rent. "She's the picky one," he said in an email.
"At the U.S. Open, I stayed with friends of the family, and I enjoyed it," he wrote. "I asked a couple of (other) players about their hotel, and they hated the $50 parking fee in downtown San Francisco."
The hassles of staying in hotels, going out to restaurants for dinner and dealing with traffic make staying in a private home an alluring option for golfers who often start their workday at 6 a.m. on tournament weeks. For the homeowner, the upsides are attractive and the downsides are limited.
Renting out your home for a short period of time can be profitable, says Bill Morse, an enrolled agent and CEO of Accounting & Tax Services of Delray Beach in Delray Beach, Fla.
"The income is not taxable if the home is rented for fewer than 15 days during the year," Morse says.
How to rent your home during a golf tournament
Frank Sausedo, general manager of Suncastle Properties in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., helps homeowners rent their homes to golfers during The Players Championship, which is played at the TPC at Sawgrass.
He says during tournaments, homes typically rent for around $1,000 per bedroom per week, with another $1,000 added for a pool.
Sausedo says homeowners rarely have problems. "The golfers aren't here to party. They're playing for millions of dollars."
Sausedo rents homes that range from two-bedroom condominiums to seven-bedroom mansions. "Some golfers travel with family, their manager and a private chef. Others may just want to feel a little more like they're at home rather than being cramped into a hotel room," Sausedo says.
Ponte Vedra Beach residents Lupe and Dennis Morken have rented their five-bedroom, five-and-one-half-bath, 4,200-square-foot home in Sawgrass Country Club to pro golfers for eight years.
They usually go on vacation when their home is rented. "We've never had an issue, and the $5,000 rent we receive is a huge incentive," Dennis says.
Jim Dauwalter is the representative chairman of the championship committee for Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. He says during the 2009 PGA Golf Championship, an accommodations committee made up of club members selected the homes to show to the golfers.
"About two-thirds of the homes rented out did not belong to club members," Dauwalter says. Rather, the majority of golfers rented homes from members of the surrounding community, he says.
Golfers playing in the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga., who want to rent a private home can visit the Masters Housing Bureau website. The Masters Housing Bureau is a joint venture between the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Augusta National Golf Club to help homeowners rent their homes to professional golfers.
Christina Jones, communications director for the chamber, declined an interview. "We have a contract with each homeowner and with the Augusta National that prevents them from discussing any details regarding renters, especially when the renters are high-profile individuals," she said in an email.
8 tips when renting your home
If you're thinking of renting out your home to a golfer, here are eight tips to consider:
- Plan ahead. Dauwalter says to call the golf club sponsoring the tournament at least five months in advance and ask how to proceed, as the rental protocol varies with each tournament and each golf club.
- Take photos. Golfers want to see images of your home's exterior and of all of the main living areas and bedrooms. Photos will be posted on a website. Each tournament is unique in the sense that the website may be a Realtor's, a public website (as the Masters does) or on a private website managed by the golf club.
- Calculate extra costs. Fees and commissions for renting your home can vary from $0 to over $1,000. Most Realtors who assist with a rental will charge a commission. Websites that host photos of your home typically have fees that range from $25 to $50. However, if a golf club hosts your pictures on their private website, it may be free. Be sure to ask the individual or group advertising your home if there are any fees.
- Clean thoroughly. Since the golfers are renting your home for top dollar, Sausedo recommends that a professional cleaning service clean your home just before they arrive. He even recommends painting or other cosmetic touches if need be. All appliances, TVs and home entertainment systems must be in excellent working order.
- Use a lease. Sausedo says homeowners should require golfers to sign a lease. State-specific leases can be bought at Office Depot or similar stores. Simply fill in the dates and other information, such as the weekly rent, to complete it. If you have additional questions, contact a real estate agent or attorney, says Sausedo.
- Consider your location. Your home should be within two miles of the golf course, unless you have a private helicopter pad in your backyard (some golfers own helicopters).
- Make sure you're insured. "Your homeowners policy should be good enough and will cover the basics -- fire, water damage and stolen goods," says Steve Taub, an Allstate Exclusive Agent in Media, Pa. But since homeowners insurance policies vary from state to state, "it is best to check with your local insurance professional before renting your home because your policy may have exclusions," says Mark Rindom, an insurance agent for Wiglesworth-Rindom Insurance in Delray Beach, Fla. "It could also be a good idea to raise your liability coverage for the rental period," says Taub. Or, if you're really concerned, he suggests adding an additional policy -- known as an umbrella -- that will cover you and your home "above and beyond your existing homeowners policy."
- Depersonalize the house. Before the renters arrive, empty your closets and remove all personal items from around the home. Remove the soap and shampoo from your bathrooms and provide clean linens and towels for the golfers.
Mary Thurman Yuhas has been a freelance writer for the past nine years. She has written for a number of publications including The Sun-Sentinel, USA Today, China Daily USA, The Washington Times and her work has appeared in all of the Tribune papers. She has a blog on the Sun-Sentinel and has also written for Gulfstream Media Group, a group of lifestyle and design magazines and has done investigative reporting for Us Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @likestowritealot.