A management firm that had operated the municipal course terminated its lease in May after six years, and after considering a search for another operator, the city council then agreed to operate it internally. Three new positions are being created while clubhouse improvements are made and plans to attract more players are developed. The city’s research showed that 83 more rounds per month are needed to achieve break-even status.
The City of Comanche (Okla.) Golf Course is under new management, and changes are in store, television station KSWO ABC 7 of Lawton, Okla. reported.
The city of Comanche owns the course, but in the past has leased out the operation. However, the past managers (who were not identified by KSWO) requested to terminate their lease in May after six years, and the city council then agreed to allow the city to take on management duties for the course internally.
As a result, KSWO reported, the city has been doing a lot of work on the course in a small amount of time, in the hope that improvements will help to grow golf in Comanche. The clubhouse has been gutted and is getting fresh paint and flooring. Brush on the course was also cleared away in advance of an upcoming tournament.
“The clubhouse, if you’ve played out here, is very dilapidated. It’s worn,” Comanche City Manager Chuck Ralls told KSWO. “So immediately we started renovation. We’re gutting the inside and just kind of sprucing things up [to] make it more inviting [and] comfortable.”
Ralls said he considered finding someone else to lease course management to, but the city council thought it would be better to start to manage the property internally.
“Golf courses are difficult to manage. There is a lot with landscaping and just general operations of the business,” Ralls said. “There were some concerns with the financial [aspects]: Are we going to afford to operate this, is it going to be profitable?”
After doing research that included input from other comparable cities with golf courses, KSWO reported, Ralls found that Comanche needs to generate an additional 83 rounds per month to maintain the course on a break-even basis. He also told the station that three new positions will be created by the city for the course’s management, one to maintain the grounds and two others to work at the clubhouse.
Hoping that additional memberships will help to offset any additional costs, Ralls said he wants to transform the Comanche course to attract a new generation of golfers.
“We’ve got a lot of great members out here now, but they are seniors and unfortunately we’ve lost several over the past year,” he told KSWO. “With that membership declining, we need to look at ways that we can continue to get the next generation, kids and teenagers, involved in golf.”
There are plans in the works to build a new clubhouse, KSWO reported, but they are still in a design phase. So in the meantime, the city will concentrate on cleaning up the existing facilities and property and trying to get new members out on the course.
“We want it to be inviting from the road,”Ralls said. “We want people to feel comfortable playing here, and to bring their kids and their wives out here, just [by] changing the environment overall.”
As an additional incentive, KSWO reported, the city offered free play during the week that the clubhouse renovations were being made, before regular rates resumed on the weekend.
To see KSWO’s video report on the course, go to http://www.kswo.com/clip/14462321/comanche-golf-course-under-new-management
Tell Us What You Think!
You must be logged in to post a comment.