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LinksDAO, a Web3 community formed with ambitions to purchase a real-world golf course, said Thursday that it has agreed to do just that: it claims to have secured the winning bid to purchase Spey Bay Golf Club, an oceanside 18-hole golf course in Scotland.
While the deal terms have not been disclosed, the over 100-year-old Spey Bay course was listed with an expectation of receiving bids over 750,000 GBP, or nearly $910,000. GolfDigest reports that the deal may close higher than the list price. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
Decrypt reached out to Spey Bay Golf Club and its property agents for comment and confirmation of the winning bid and announcement, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Launched in 2021, LinksDAO is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), or an online group of golf fans and enthusiasts with membership signified via an NFT pass. The DAO’s Discord server lists over 26,000 members, with 5,000 Ethereum NFT access pass holders. LinksDAO co-founder and CEO Jim Daily called it an ideal pairing of NFTs and golf.
We won the bid.
WE'RE BUYING A GOLF COURSE!!!
— Links (@LinksDAO) March 16, 2023
“NFTs [are] your path to the club,” he told Decrypt. “So we said, let’s combine those two things.”
NFTs are tokenized blockchain assets that can represent digital collectibles or artwork but also be tied to memberships, perks, or real-world items.
Daily said that LinksDAO aims to foster a vibrant community of golf lovers and change what it means to be part of a golf club. Wallets holding LinksDAO NFT passes have been linked to basketball great Steph Curry and the companies behind legendary actor Bill Murray’s NFT project.
LinksDAO raised about $10.5 million worth of ETH (at the time) by selling NFTs in December 2021 but has also raised outside funding. While the deal is not yet complete, the LinksDAO core team is already at work trying to figure out what to do with the Scottish locale.
“We’re deeply appreciative of the history of Spey Bay and all of Scottish golf,” LinksDAO community manager Cooper Sherwin told Decrypt. “The branding may be tweaked with input from the community, but we intend to honor the rich history with all decisions and changes made.”
DAOs had a moment in 2021. That November, Constitution DAO raised $45 million to buy an original copy of the United States Constitution at auction but lost to billionaire Ken Griffin in a climax marked by confusion and disorganization. Not wanting to repeat that mishap, LinksDAO Inc.—an incorporated company—took the lead, with its DAO acting as an advisory board.
“The DAO [members] are not equity owners in the business,” Daily said. “Essentially, the NFT is a membership pass. It gives you voting rights in an advisory capacity.”
DAOs are online groups where control is spread across the community instead of centralizing power via a hierarchical structure. Such communities use automated smart contracts and governance tokens to vote on proposed actions.
Daily acknowledged the limitations of a DAO making real-world purchases, and said that the formalized business is focused on delivering the desires of the community. The incorporated company will also be the title holder of any property that LinksDAO acquires.
“You can’t buy physical land” as a DAO, Daily explained.
Besides, LinksDAO’s original branding won’t be long for this world. Daily said that the branding will be transitioned to Links Golf Club in time to try and help the community reach more people.
“It’s going by another name that I think more folks in the mainstream will just really grasp and understand,” he said, adding that the voting principles, mechanisms, and focus on community collaboration will not change.
On the lookout for additional opportunities, Daily also said that LinksDAO has looked at more than 90 golf courses over the last year, and remains in conversation with over 20 courses in the United States.