Park golf – Burgham Park Sat, 13 Aug 2022 20:45:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Park golf – Burgham Park 32 32 Golf revenue is on the rise on public courses thanks to the pandemic, but how long will that last? Sat, 13 Aug 2022 20:45:26 +0000

Public golf courses in the suburbs operated in deficit or barely profitable for several years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we were all a little nervous heading into 2020 because we really didn’t know what was going to happen with the industry as a whole,” said Kevin Carlson, director of golf at Naperville Park District.

In 2019, golf operations at Naperville’s two public courses made a profit of $103,009 despite missing revenue projections of nearly $200,000.

That’s a far cry from last year, when earnings from the district’s Springbrook and Naperbrook courses brought in nearly $2 million in profit and beat revenue forecasts by more than $1.1 million.

The Naperville Park District also recorded a golf profit of $1.4 million in 2020.

“We’ve seen a big increase because of COVID, and I imagine we’re not the only ones,” Naperville Park District Executive Director Brad Wilson said. “I think it rekindled the love of the game in those who were already playing it, and new golfers came to experience it and stuck with it and became active in the sport.”

Wilson is not mistaken about the fortunes of suburban golf courses, which have become one of the few profitable programs for many park districts during the pandemic.

Golf operations in 32 suburban park districts, forest reserves and municipalities combined for more than $19 million in profits in 2021, according to a Daily Herald analysis of audits by these government agencies. In 2019, the same 32 agencies reported a combined deficit of $2.8 million from golf operations.


But public golf course operators have seen these bargains before. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, golf courses were a relative gold mine for many public bodies thanks to interest in the sport spurred by Tiger Woods’ rise to the top of the game and a booming economy.

Then, when the country went through the Great Recession and Woods’ star was tarnished by personal issues, interest in golf waned.

“At the time, there were a lot of municipal golf courses that were making a lot of money, and that money ended up being redirected probably to redo a lot of swimming pools and tennis courts,” said Ed Stevenson, director of golf. at the DuPage County Forest. Preserve District, which operates three public courses that generated $1.9 million in profits last year. “Years later, when golf was leaner, the reserves weren’t there to take care of the necessary maintenance and improvements to the golf courses.

“I have to imagine a lot of golf course operators have learned the importance of being able to ride through that ebb and flow and not just spend the money elsewhere during the good times.”

Fear of another ebb makes budgeting tricky, some public course operators said.

“That was the fear we had as we budgeted for 2022 that it would be a false peak,” said Rick Walrath, general manager of Pinecrest Golf Club in Huntley Park District, which saw rounds of golf jump by 20 % from 2019 to 2021. “But we are on track to make another profit this year, but maybe not as much as in 2021.”

Of the 32 suburban agencies in the analysis, only one did not make a profit in 2021.

The village-owned nine-hole Streamwood Oaks Golf Club was the only suburban operation to end 2021 with a deficit. Despite earning $122,877 above budget, Streamwood Oaks ended the year $21,316 in the red, according to the Village Audit.

“We pay cash for any capital like our buildings or our vehicles so we don’t overburden our ratepayers with borrowing,” said Streamwood Village Superintendent Sharon Caddigan. “All the money we make there, we put back into the golf club so there’s no additional cost to taxpayers.”

But while the pandemic may have been a boon for public golf courses, it has been a significant meltdown for most other Park District programs, especially in 2020, officials said.

“Golf course revenue was virtually the only revenue collected for district operations during the COVID shutdown as all other recreation programs had to be put on hold,” said Steve Burgess, assistant manager of the Schaumburg Park District. “It continues to be an important source as the district recovers from the COVID period.”

Schaumburg Park District golf operations reported a profit of $1.2 million last year. In 2019, district ratepayers spent an additional $356,760 to cover losses at district links.

However, the district also saw nearly $7 million in programming revenue wiped out due to the pandemic, according to district audits. The district cut nearly half of 120 staff positions during the pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic, most indoor activities were canceled to follow state-mandated safety guidelines. Second, districts struggled to find participants for many of these programs due to residents’ ongoing health problems.

For many, golf was the only viable recreational or sporting activity available.

“Clearly, the pandemic forcing people, for a period of time, to participate almost exclusively in outdoor activities was going to benefit golf courses,” said Alex Eichman, chief golf operations officer at the Lake County Forest Preserve District. , where the three courses were located. from losing $383,222 in 2019 to profits exceeding $1 million the following two years. “But we also had to deal with increased expenses, which reduced those profits.”

Eichman said inflation has raised the costs of all kinds of items, while staff shortages have forced operators to cover shifts with overtime or raise wages to retain employees.

Again, what an operation experiences is not unique to them.

“With the incredible rise in fuel prices, we were forced to increase cart fees this year,” Carlson said.

It’s a delicate balancing act. Too many price increases can push some golfing customers to other courses or out of the game.

“We are certainly aware of the questions about how long this will last and whether there will be a COVID hangover that brings everything back to the levels we were before,” Carlson said. “But at this point we still don’t see that.”

]]> Renovation carried out on the Rendezvous Park disc golf course in West Fargo Fri, 12 Aug 2022 01:24:09 +0000

WEST FARGO, ND (KVRR) – The West Fargo Park District has renovated its disc golf course, providing more space for players.

“We knew we really wanted to have a good pace throughout the course, so you start and end in the same place for parking and everything. Just the way the layout worked to try and give disc golf its own separate area from the hockey arena and the basketball and softball courts to keep them in their place,” said Micah Fraase, West Fargo Parks District Foreman.

Rendezvous Park offers disc golfers their own space away from other areas of the park. They can either play a standard 18-hole game or play a smaller round. Both options will see players end up near the parking lot.

“You also have the option of playing nine if you’re not looking to stretch and go all 18 holes, which is a neat aspect. You can go from hole five all the way to 15 and kind of keep it in the Rendezvous Park instead of Rendezvous Road,” Fraase said.

Fraase says he thinks hole eight could be North Dakota’s longest hole at more than 1,000 feet long.

He is excited to see more avid gamers from the FM region trying their hand at West Fargo Park.

“I think it’s always important to allow people to get out and move around. Disc golf, as we talked about earlier, is obviously starting to explode and become a bigger thing. To have a park of this size, add another element to it. I think it was key for us to really create a new course and make it more popular with people here,” Fraase said.

It has exploded in popularity since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Disc golf is taking the world by storm. At Rendezvous Park, the renovated course looks brand new and could host tournaments in West Fargo.

“The Cass-Clay Disc Golf Club has met with us a few times and talked to us about this possibility. We would be on board for that. It would be exciting to bring people here to the new course and let them see it. The next step we hope to maybe get some concrete tee boxes and plant some more trees, maybe some natural grasses and some other obstacles to make the road a bit more difficult,” Fraase said.

Fraase says the next step is to build more concrete tees to make the course more official for the tournament.

]]> Golf carts on the streets of Storm Lake? Tue, 09 Aug 2022 18:08:34 +0000

Storm Lake City Council is expected to discuss legalizing golf carts on city streets — as well as surrounding suburbs — at its next meeting.

Lakeside’s Dr. David Archer asked City Manager Keri Navratil last month if golf cart use would be allowed from Lakeside in Sunrise Park to the Sunrise Pointe Golf Course. Legalizing golf carts in Storm Lake would create a contiguous thoroughfare between Storm Lake and Lakeside that would allow golf carts.

Lakeside and Alta allow them. Storm Lake does not.

“I would like the city council to consider allowing golf carts on Sunrise Park Road under the same rules as ATVs,” Archer told the Storm Lake Times Pilot of his application to Navratil. “The Lakeside golf carts at the Municipal Golf Course do not pose a traffic hazard as they are about the same dimensions as an ATV and would reach the speed limit (20 miles per hour) through the park. “

Archer noted that King’s Pointe housekeeping and maintenance staff use golf carts on Sunrise Park Road between the resort and the campground.

City Manager Keri Navratil declined to express an opinion on Archer’s request. Mayor Mike Porsch plans to listen to Archer, but he acknowledged he is not in favor of golf carts on all city streets. He fears the legalization of golf carts will create a host of problems for Storm Lake police, who began policing ATVs and UTVs earlier this year.

“I’m going to need some convincing,” Porsch said Thursday. “We already have legal ATVs/UTVs. Golf carts are another big step forward.

The city council declined to place restrictions on ATVs and UTVs after the Iowa legislature legalized them on state, county and city roads. The legislation, HF2130, superseded all local ordinances that prohibited them.

Golf carts were not part of the legislation.

Porsch noted that there was a reason the city council refused to specifically regulate ATVs and UTVs. A series of public briefings the city council held earlier this year featured advocates calling for these all-terrain vehicles to be legalized specifically; they were banned from all city rights-of-way by July 1.

Defenders were quick to point out that golf carts weren’t what they were asking for.

“Golf carts are a different animal than ATVs,” said Porsch, who pointed to the wide array of safety features that might not be implemented on golf carts. State legislation that licenses ATVs and UTVs, he noted, prescribes strict safety standards that must be met if they are legal on state roads. He wondered what the outcome would be if the city wrote a golf ordinance from scratch.

“The board said they weren’t going to regulate ATV-UTVs,” Porsch said. “This one asks us to think about our own politics.”

Archer noted that state law allows municipalities to set rules for golf carts.

“Sac City even has a clearance process,” he added.

Archer plans to attend next Monday’s city council meeting with a presentation ready on legalizing golf carts.

FedEx St Jude Championship 2022 in Memphis has a new look, same spirit Mon, 08 Aug 2022 02:05:07 +0000

Jack Sammons posed for the photo inside the FedEx company cabana overlooking the 18th green at TPC Southwind, the sparkling FedEx Cup trophy locked beside him to start the 65th year of Annual Memphis Professional Golf Tournament.

The picture was so much more than a picture given the circumstances, given that the name of the event is still different, and the date of the event is still different, and the tournament director is different again, and even the stability of the PGA Tour is different than it was just a year ago.

There was Sammons, the former city councilman with all that Southern charm, who helped save this tournament when he nearly went under 13, standing with the symbol of all his hard work. He was armed with a joke, of course, about the many versions of this event he has now overseen as General Chairman.

“I’ve had more logos on this shirt than Elizabeth Taylor had husbands,” he cracked. “But I have 125 of the best golfers in the world coming here. At the time…they were like, ‘It’s hot out there. There are mosquitoes. They had all kinds of reasons not to come.”

FedEx St. Jude Championship General Chairman Jack Sammons (left) poses for a photo with FedEx Cup and Youth Programs, Inc. Board Member Charlie Hill ahead of the 2022 tournament.

Welcome to PGA Tour golf in Memphis. It’s like never before, and yet the enduring spirit of this tournament is the same as ever, despite its third name, third date and third format in the past five years.

This week, the FedEx Cup Qualifiers and the top 125 golfers in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings will travel to TPC Southwind for the inaugural FedEx St. Jude Championship. At $15 million, the prize money tops last year’s $10.5 million purse at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Most of the world’s best, many of whom never bothered to come to Memphis before it became a WGC event three years ago, are back.