Several courses in southeastern Virginia, an area that has been hit especially hard by defense-related sequestration cuts, are offering $5 weekly discounts to furloughed federal and private workers, but have so far had few takers.
Seven golf courses in southeastern Virginia, an area that has been hit especially hard by defense-related sequestration cuts, have been offering $5 weekly discounts to federal and private workers who are being furloughed by the government cutbacks, reports The Virginian-Pilot.
“We personally have two son-in-laws who are furloughed,” Nina Troyer, co-owner and treasurer of Cypress Point Country Club in Virginia Beach, Va. told the newspaper. “I got to thinking, we ought to do something for these people who are being asked to sacrifice.”
To qualify for the discount, a golfer must bring a coupon that has been circulated locally along with a furlough notice and a picture ID, to one of the participating courses, which also include Honey Bee GC, Owl’s Creek GC and Stumpy Lake GC in Virginia Beach; Lake Wright GC and Lambert’s Point GC in Norfolk, Va.; and Chesapeake (Va.) Golf Club.
The discount may be used only once a week, through September 30, at only one course within the group, Troyer added.
While the offer has been available since the beginning of July, it hasn’t “been a chip shot for business yet,” The Virginian-Pilot reported on July 21. Representatives of three courses that the newspaper contacted said they had so far redeemed no more than a couple of coupons each.
“It could be heat, it could be vacations, it could be several things,” said Dave Williams, General Manager of Owl’s Creek, which hadn’t had any takers as of Thursday.
Online comments posted by Virginian-Pilot readers after the newspaper reported on the offer made other suggestions, however, about why the discount might not produce many takers.
“It could be that families with furloughed workers are having to cut out all unnecessary expenditures and that a measly $5 discount isn’t enough to allow these folks to do something extravagant like going golfing during these tough times. It’s a nice gesture, it just isn’t enough,” read one comment.
Another reader added: “If I were a furloughed federal employee, I think I would be worried about a lot more than how much it cost me to play golf.” And a third wrote: “I think I’d choose food over golf…A $5.00 discount is squat when we’re losing 20 percent of our salary.”