Letter: Golf course capacity is needed for busy months
The NGF Study stated that if Soldiers Field Golf Course is closed, 15,000 of approximately 30,000 rounds currently played there would be lost. The remaining 15,000 rounds could be played at the other city courses. Data suggests we play May through October with shoulder seasons in April and November. Those few months host all high school events, fundraising tournaments, leagues, league events and championships, as well as open play.
You cannot take a round or event requested in July and move it to October to allow for those 15,000 rounds to be captured. It won’t happen. Instead, you will create significant frustration in the system. All golfer categories are going to want similar tee times during the busy months, especially June, July and August. Reducing a course will make it extremely difficult to match a group’s availability.
The season pass and regular play revenue picture will change exponentially at all city courses once you introduce that frustration.
Golf growth is not an anomaly. Rochester golf is operationally profitable today and projected to be profitable in the future. It creates a source of revenue that no other recreational activity produces. Most are free. No other activity is expected to capture capital expenses through fees. Why is golf expected to?
The NGF study did not recommend closing Soldiers. It outlined that golf can grow with infrastructure, technology and marketing support. The Park Board should work with the golf community to keep all four courses as is with additional support for growth.
Deb Garry, Rochester