The publicly owned facility in Albany, Ga., which has over 250 members, has reversed losses in the restaurant and pro shop under a new interim GM. Golf is gaining revenue from a recently opened driving range, and potential for increased revenue from tennis is seen.
Grand Island Golf Course in Albany, Ga. still faces some financial challenges, the Albany Herald reported, but there have been signs of progress in recent months, according to Jeremy Morey, interim general manager of the facility, which is owned by Lee County, Ga.
Morey, who is the Parks and Recreation Department manager in Lee County, took control of the facility in July following the resignation of longtime manager Paige Langley, the Herald reported. County Manager Ron Rabun, who at the time touted Morey’s skills as a manager, said Morey has implemented changes that have improved the financial outlook at the recreational property.
Morey told Lee County commissioners at a meeting on October 27 that operations at Grand Island’s restaurant and grill have been “streamlined to make it run more efficiently,” the Herald reported. For the most recent four-month cycle, Morey reported, the restaurant made a profit of nearly $3,000, compared to a loss of nearly $4,000 for the comparable period a year earlier.
The club’s pro shop has been rebranded with new products and updated with more marketable apparel and accessories, Morey said in his report, according to the Herald. “We have almost completely revamped the pro shop look and done so with a comparative profit,” he said. For a recent three-month cycle, Morey said, the shop showed a small profit, compared to a nearly $5,500 loss during the same period a year earlier.
Grand Island GC’s golf complex continues to operate at a loss, Morey told the commissioners, but there has been improvement, the Herald reported. The most recent four-month cycle showed a loss of nearly $8,000, but that was an improvement of over $3,000 from the same period a year earlier.
Grand Island GC’s recently opened golf driving range is beginning to produce revenue, Morey said, and should continue to help in the revenue department and by making the golf complex more attractive to members. The club’s former driving range had been closed, the Herald reported, when a new car dealership opened and took part of the property where the range had been located.
Another key factor, Morey told the commissioners, has been the hiring of Chris Dixon, PGA, as the club’s golf professional and tournament director. Morey said Dixon has a good reputation as a golf instructor, specializing in junior golf. He’s the first golf pro at Grand Island in several years, the Herald reported.
Grand Island GC has 256 members, Morey reported, most of whom are over 55 years old. While seeking to maintain that segment, Morey said he plans to push for more members in the 25-to-54 age category that is family-centered, the Herald reported. That will be done partly through youth camps, clinics and junior tournaments, Morey said.
Morey also said he believes there is potential to increase revenue from the club’s tennis courts, the Herald reported, noting that Grand Island has benefited slightly from the recent closing of the Pine Forest Tennis Club.
“I feel that now that I have a handle on day-to-day operations and procedure [and] that Grand Island Golf Course will continue to move in the right direction,” Morey told the commissioners, the Herald reported.