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Golf is a ‘rich man’s game’

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POSTED August 15, 2017 1:36 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I definitely see why Manteca is losing money on the course when I view the low rates charged for play at the course.
With the senior subsidy of $155,000 annually, seniors play for next to nothing. Rates comparative to other courses are way below average. Even at the senior low rate the course can’t attract more players. Escalating maintenance cost and subsidizing senior play and low play fees is what is causing the loss in revenue.
I read an interesting article written by a golf pro that said most golfers complain about the time consumed in play because 18 holes takes time away from their families. Eighteen holes takes at least on the average of five hours to play. People work and can’t afford to reduce the time with the family. His concept is to reduce the amount of holes to 6 and 12 to reduce the play time. Lunch and a golf cart add to the cost of 18 holes.
Let’s face the facts shall we? Golf is a rich man’s sport and always has been. The pro said that people that are slow often add to the time of play for they won’t let faster players play through.
There are too many negatives about a golf course and it’s almost impossible to make it pay as a business when you have a front load cost of $1 million to overcome before any profit is achieved. What I don’t understand is why this council has been subsidizing play at $155,000 for seniors when the course is running in the red.
Why didn’t the council add the $155,000 subsidy to the debt of the club house so they could have paid it off sooner, rather than give seniors a huge discount on the taxpayer’s dime? In essence they extended the payments by subsidizing seniors while experiencing an on-going annual loss.
Then they were dumb in buying into the former pro’s scheme of reducing play fee to attract more players. That bombed as I predicted, for this resulted in a greater loss. The results of how much loss the city incurred on that experiment was never disclosed. As I said before, you can’t reduce fees to attract players because you can only increase fees later on to the same rate prior to the reduction. Doubling up on the fees with a small temporary increase in play wouldn’t be acceptable and new players would drop play.
It is my contention that the new golf pro will have the same results and this council will reflect back on me suggesting unloading the golf course. The land itself will become too valuable to Manteca to run as a losing business. I certainly wouldn’t trust any of them to manage my money. Wasting the people’s tax dollars is the only thing this council excels in.

Fleener Richards
Manteca

 

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