The Daytona Beach, Fla., property’s overhaul will include work on the 18-hole golf course’s sand traps, which will begin this spring and should wrap up after October, plus new paint and carpet for the clubhouse.
Officials at Palm Harbor Golf Club, the city of Daytona Beach, Fla.’s only government-run golf course, are betting that nearly $300,000 in updates will lure more patrons and their wallets to help offset annual losses, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
As part of the overhaul, work on the 18-hole course’s 67 or so sand traps will begin this spring and should wrap up after October in time for the sports’ high season, the News-Journal reported.
“The better the sand traps look, the better the course is considered,” General Manager Brad Adams said. “Some of the sand traps out there, the drainage has failed.”
The cost for the sand trap redo is $250,000 spread over two years, city documents show. Adams said some of the sand traps, which are costly to maintain, will be removed or changed to lessen the need for maintenance and the special type of sand needed to fill them, the News-Journal reported.
“The idea is not to change the playability of the golf course,” Adams said. The traps are “head and shoulders the most talked about item” for the course’s dedicated golfers.
Along with the sand trap renovation, the clubhouse will be getting new paint and carpet for “a nice little update,” Adams said. The cost for that is budgeted at $40,000 in fiscal year 2017-’18, the News-Journal reported.
Palm Harbor Golf Club is in the city’s oldest neighborhood section, and golf has been played there since the 1970s. Since the Great Recession, golf play has dropped off nationally as well as locally, but Adams said his staff is working to engage a larger proportion of the community, including elementary school students, the News-Journal reported.
“Golf is very susceptible to dips in the economy,” Adams said. “It was at its high peak in the early 2000s, (and) I think we are on a bit of an upswing.”
Adams said last year some staff members went to Wadsworth Elementary School, where they engaged about 1,000 kids in golf-centric games and talked to them about coming to the course. This year, staff members will go to three schools, the News-Journal reported.
“Start young,” Adams said. “I am a firm believer that you can change the local culture. This is a municipal space that is part of the parks department, and we want to be available for everyone.”
The course was closed and renovated in 2009 and has lost money at varying levels ever since. According to a presentation by representatives of KemperSports, which runs the course for the city and employs Adams, the course lost $314,886 in fiscal year 2013-2014 and $346,191 in 2014-15 and is budgeted for a $296,881 loss in 2015-16. One of the goals is increasing rounds played by 5 percent, the News-Journal reported.
A financial forecast in the presentation predicts closing the gap between revenue and expenses by fiscal year 2018-19, when losses might be more like $150,000, the News-Journal reported.