A lease has worked well for Pound Ridge Golf Course in New York, says Jason Ekaireb, Director of Sales and Marketing. The terms of the lease stipulate that a mechanic who works for the manufacturer will visit the club at least once a week to check out the cars and make any necessary repairs. The golf course will switch out the cars for a new fleet every four to five years.
On the other hand, Ray Finch believes it’s wiser to buy new cars every few years.
“A lease is nothing more than depreciation in interest, says Finch, Managing Partner at Hammock Creek Golf Club in Palm City, Fla. “If you have the cash, they’re less expensive to purchase.”
Bruce Williams, former Director of Golf Courses and Grounds at the Los Angeles Country Club, likens it to buying or leasing a car.
“When you are ready to turn over the fleet you can do so, through ownership and have retained some equity in the fleet,” he says. “You can’t do that with a lease. And somehow we tend to take better care of what we own rather than what we are merely using for a certain period of time.”
Managers agree that courses that don’t have the cash flow – especially in the off-peak months – might be better off leasing the fleet. Courses can sometimes opt for a six months on, six months off lease payment schedule, Ekaireb notes. That way, the courses don’t have to worry about coming up with the cash during the winter months when the course is closed or rounds are down.