The decentralized autonomous organization's NFT memberships provide voting rights but not ownership of the group's first golf course, which requires a corporate structure.
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A DAO formed by people whose passions lie at the intersection of crypto and golf has proved you can buy a million-dollar Scottish golf course by selling NFTs.
LinksDAO, a crypto-centric community of some 5,400 golfers, submitted the winning bid for the Spey Bay Golf Club, designed in 1907 by the noted golf course architect Ben Sayers.
Founded in late 2021 at the height of the crypto bull market, LinksDAO raised what was then $10.5 million dollars worth of ETH by selling NFTs that provide two levels of membership — Global and Leisure.
These provide varying levels of DAO governance votes and the right to buy individual or family memberships in the actual golf courses purchased — Spey Bay being the first, assuming the deal closes after due diligence is carried out.
The most notable benefit is access to some 450 golf clubs in the Links Play network. Others include member-exclusive events, access to a Discord community and various other perks are also included.
CryptoSlam! puts the total sales and resales of the 9,090 NFT memberships at $29 million.
It's worth noting that LinksDAO, the decentralized autonomous organization, won't actually own or run the club. Links Golf Club is a standard company with the ability to do necessary things like own property. The DAO itself is at its core a yea-or-nay organization that votes on whether to move forward with acquisitions and other issues.
While the plan is to concentrate on U.S. clubs, the Spey Bay purchase received 88% of the vote.
GIven its list price of $905,000, Spey Bay was seen as too good an opportunity to pass up, Links' leadership told Golf Digest.
The plan is to invest in the somewhat-neglected, family-owned club's maintenance.
Democratizing Golf, Web3-Style
The goal, broadly, was to "more widely democratize the country club membership experience," Links Golf Club CEO Jim Daly told CNBC shortly after LinksDAO was founded.
That remains the case, Links Head of Strategy Adam Besvinick told Golf Digest this week. He said:
"The older, traditional club membership feels too rigid, too structured and too limiting for the vast majority of young golfers regardless of income. Not everyone wants to join one single club and only play that course all year. What we're trying to build is something that bridges an online and offline community of thousands of golfers who are passionate and obsessed with the game in a variety of ways."
DAO's have made other steps into the real world, with Constitution DAO famously trying — and failing — to buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution for a staggering $46 million, but were up against billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin's far-too-deep pockets.
More currently, Doge DAO is organizing a "pilgrimage" to Japan to meet Kabosu, the Shiba Inu dog behind the meme appropriated by Dogecoin.