The city-owned course in Concord, Calif. saw a 40% increase from past years in rounds played over the last year, which brought more attention to an aging clubhouse with amenities that don’t always meet customers’ expectations. Director of Golf Joe Fernandez says the clubhouse’s venue space is too small and the greens, constructed long ago, are now outdated.
Diablo Creek Golf Course in Concord, Calif. saw a 40% increase from past years in rounds played because of COVID and officials project a net revenue of over $300,000 at the city-owned course when the current fiscal year ends later this month, The San Jose Mercury News reported.
But the increased participation by residents has brought more attention to an aging clubhouse with amenities that don’t always meet customers’ expectations, Director of Golf Joe Fernandez told The Mercury News. Specifically, he said the clubhouse’s venue space is too small and the greens, constructed long ago, are now outdated.
If the popularity persists, he and city officials may look into major upgrades at the facility, The Mercury News reported.
“The clubhouse was built in 1963,” Fernandez said. “It’s had two facelifts—we’ve painted it and replaced the flooring—but it’s dated compared to a lot of modern buildings, and long-term there’s got to be a plan of eventually replacing that building.”
In addition to the 18-hole course, the club has a pro shop and a bar and grill, The Mercury News reported. Fernandez said it’s also time to expand the fairway and greens, since modern golf club technology allows for bigger swings that cover more yardage.
There may soon be another reason to make improvements at the course, The Mercury News reported. The long-awaited development of the former naval weapons site in Concord will involve expanding a road that connects to a nearby highway, where the course is located. The construction will require developers to cut through the southern portion of the course.
“What’s unique about that [development plan] is it will provide us with the opportunity to redesign the course,” said Steve Voorhies, Concord’s Director of Parks and Recreation. “At the very least, it could mean a redesign of the whole architecture.”
If Diablo Creek does get a makeover, the City Council may need to set up a capital improvement fund, paid off over time, to cover the costs, The Mercury News reported. It created a similar $2 million fund in the late 1990s to improve, among other features, the facility’s irrigation systems.
In general, the golf course operates similarly to a private business, surviving off its own net income despite being owned by the city, The Mercury News reported. Unlike so many businesses that racked up losses during the pandemic, Diablo Creek garnered more revenue than it had in previous years, Fernandez said. At various points in 2020, the course even found itself low on driving-range balls, both because of increased demand and a COVID-related disruption to the supply chain.
“It turned out to be a real bright spot,” Voorhies said of the golf course. “People were able to play the sport in a safe way during the pandemic, and I think that was partially responsible for the resurgence of golf as a recreational activity.”