Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday March 5, 2016
Hamilton councillors swing for the greens to provide lower fees to play
Hamilton politicians got into the swing of things by reducing the green fees at the city’s two Chedoke golf courses.
Since the economic recession of 2008, area golf courses have suffered with reduced rounds due to high prices and a saturated market.
Hamilton’s golf courses, King’s Forest, which has been ranked as the number one municipal golf course in Canada, and Chedoke’s two courses the Beddoe and Martin have not escaped the economic slump. A market analysis by Global Golf Advisors, commissioned by the city, found Hamilton’s courses have “experienced declining demand” since 2010.
The consultants urged the city to increase the rounds, while instituting a “flexible fee structure” program. By adopting the new structure, the city could increase the number of rounds by 37 per cent, or 24,000 rounds per season at all three golf courses, while also boosting revenue to about $600,000.
City staff agreed Hamilton is taking a unique approach reducing prices in the hope it will increase the number of rounds golfers play each year.
The proposed green fees for the Beddoe course would be reduced from $44.25 per round from Monday to Thursday to $33.06, while on weekends and holidays, a round would cost $44.26 rather than $48.67. The Martin course would see green fees dip from $30.09 from Monday to Thursday to $28.20, and $35.40 to $33.83 on weekends and holidays. Twilight rounds would also see a reduction in green fees. Seniors would get a break for both 18 and nine hole rounds.
The city will be cutting golf memberships for the Beddoe and Martin courses, and slight reductions in advantage packs prices. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)