Fewer Strokes Mean Fewer Dollars For Area Golf Courses
Low numbers are good in golf -- unless they refer to a golf course's bottom line.
According to the National Golf Federation, Americans played almost three-percent fewer rounds of golf this June than in June of 2009, and in Florida that number jumps to nine-percent fewer rounds played. Area course operators say they're feeling the hit.
"Our tee sheet's not as booked. We're not having as many people come through on the day at three o'clock when our twilight rate starts to hit," says Michael Abbate of Meadowbrook Golf Club. "we're not having as many people coming. It's just, the people just aren't here."
But not all area courses are responding to the down golf economy in the same way. At least one course is using less economic green to add more actual golf greens.
"With this down economy, these golf course construction companies - you're able to get a better bang for your buck," says Irownwood Golf Club Course Manager Bill Iwinski. "So here we are with almost 1.3 million worth of improvements."
City finance officials say the improvements will be paid for by a golfer surcharge at the municipal course. That doesn't mean that Ironwood is immune to economic difficulties though. The same city finance officials say in each '07,'08, and '09 the course had operational losses in excess of 400,000 dollars. Iwinski says he hopes the improvements help avoid more losses in the future.
"You've always got to figure out a way to you know improve your business and maybe be more creative to get people in the door so that's what we're doing here."
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