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Public Golf Upswing in Lexington
Public golf in Lexington is on an uptick. In recent years, the Urban County Government had been subsidizing the five golf courses by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then last spring the green fees were reduced substantially and a golfer loyalty program implemented. Director of Golf Mike Fields says it has resulted in a turnaround. “I think it allowed us to get our rates in line with what the market demand was. We were out pricing ourselves, we didn’t have any programs in place to create any loyalty for our customers to keep returning to us,” said Fields.
In addition to slashing rates, in March loyalty cards were sold for one hundred dollars apiece. Those allow golfers to save five dollars on individual green fees each time. The senior rate did apply to those 60 and above. Now it’s effective for golfers 50 and over. Fields says more players create better opportunities for revenue.
“Oh you get more people going through your doors, you’re gonna sell more merchandise, more food and beverage, more beer golf tees whatever. More cart rentals. More everything, so it just comes down to getting more people in the door,” added Fields.
Meadowbrook golf course has been on shaky ground financially for a number of years. Fields says it’s doing better.
“It’s safe for lack of better words, everything is in pretty good shape over there. We’ve managed to increase the rounds and revenue over there and cut the expenses quite a bit,” said Fields.
Fields says last October, public golf was down about a hundred thousand dollars and five to six thousand rounds. But he says from October to the end of June there was a 300 thousand dollar, 15 thousand round turnaround.