FIX GOLF – authored by Tom Blakeman, June 25, 2019
Thank you Golf Department for trying to halt rapidly increasing golf “Subsidy” – a user-friendly name for losing money. Golf Lost almost Two Million Dollars last year. June board reports show the Loss on track to be much worse this year.
POA considers weather to be the problem. But, Golf has lost money every year for the last 10 years. Weather, in almost every case, was the noted cause. While weather is the “go to” excuse it is NOT the issue.
POA will now close courses judiciously to reduce “supply” and reduce costs by freezing certain unfilled jobs. This is similar to reducing the output of a manufacturing plant by cutting one daily production shift. Cutting maintenance and operations staff is NOT a solution. When a course is “offline” for a period that is when maintenance needs to be increased. Lots of things need fixing on the courses.
More Revenue is the answer. That does NOT mean raising Member rates either. Utilization of the courses needs to be dramatically increased. Reports mentioned increases in stay and play packages which is great, but far from enough. We have tens of thousands of unused tee times. The Answer: More Local Non-Member Play.
POA should actively market to every golfer in a three hour drive radius. Make them want to come and fill empty tee times daily. That means special rates, promotions, advertising and the like. Run a golf bus from Little Rock if you have to. Whatever it takes. This has not been getting done.
City of Little Rock is closing two popular public golf courses, War Memorial and Hindman Park. Our Golf Department needs to capture those players who now need a new golf venue. Pricing & Promotion equals Revenue.
Authored by Tom Blakeman, Hot Springs Village
Formatted by Cheryl Dowden
Photography by Joe Dowden