DAOs Take Swing at the Links: Buying a Real-World Golf Course with NFTs, a Decentralized Community and Bill Murray.

They say the perfect drive sends the ball soaring down the fairway, bite, roll and straight into the hole. But, rarely have we ever gotten to see a driving opportunity go as far as buying a real-world golf course. Until now. This week, LinksDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) formed with ambitious plans to buy a real-world golf course, proudly announced that the group of golf fanatics and enthusiasts had taken a swing at the links and secured the winning bid to purchase Spey Bay Golf Club, a scenic oceanside eighteen-hole golf course in Scotland.

The group’s intention to purchase the over one-hundred-year-old golf course was substantiated when the terms for the deal – though not publically disclosed – were impressive enough to make the deal a reality, far exceeding the750,000 GBP (or nearly $910,000) list price that was expected.

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Launched in 2021, LinksDAO is a DAO – an online community of golf fans and enthusiasts with their membership signified by a special NFT pass. Their Discord server has attracted over twenty-six-thousand members, with five-thousand Ethereum NFT access pass holders, including basketball icon Steph Curry and companies associated with Bill Murray’s legendary NFT project.

In December of 2021, LinksDAO raised money to fund the initiative by selling NFTs, gaining an impressive 10.5 million dollars worth of ETH at the time of sale. While the deal is not yet completed, LinksDAO members are already looking into the details of what they plan to do with the Scotland-based property as well as a possible new name for the course that “more folks in the mainstream will really grasp and understand.”

NFTs – blockchain-based tokens which represent digital collectibles or artwork, can be tied to memberships, perks, or even be used to link real-world items – made the perfect pairing for golf fanatics, as LinksDAO CEO Jim Daily explained: “NFTs [are] your path to the club, so we said, let’s combine those two things.”

Though buy-in power of the DAO that looks to purchase the course may be limited, the organization is still focusing on delivering the desires of the community – always with respect to the rich heritage and history associated with the location.

It was clear that DAOs had a moment in 2021. At the time, Constitution DAO was poised to purchase an original copy of the United States Constitution for a whopping $45 million but lost to billionaire Ken Griffin the night of the auction, marked with a frenzied confusion. Attempting to avoid similar hiccups and confusion, LinksDAO Inc.- an incorporated company – took the lead, with its treasurer – the DAO – acting as an advisory board for the effort.

The DAO’s members are not considered equity owners in the business, but, according to CEO Daily, “the NFT is a membership pass. It gives you voting rights in an advisory capacity.”

This remarkable acquisition – unforeseen in the golf world – shows that DAOs are, in fact, capable of extended influence with their blockchain-based tokens, outside the digital realm. The determination of LinksDAO, who created a web3 community with the mission to purchase a real-world golf course, clearly illustrates the true power of NFTs in the era of decentralization.

With the completion of the deal expected to take place in the coming weeks, the LinksDAO’s acquisition of Spey Bay Golf Course represents a momentous golf milestone, uniting the beautiful sport of golf with the burgeoning technology of NFTs and the power of decentralized community collaboration. It’s a perfect storm of golf, NFTs, decentralized autonomy, and an added bonus of Bill Murray – now that’s an interesting twist for the links!

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Rina Giannino
Journalist venturing into blockchain, Rina has been a follower of the technology since 2019 and finally taken the plunge with a career as a journalist in the industry.