A nicely conditioned course isn’t enough to pack the fairways—even on sunny, calm days in Visalia, Calif. Not in today’s competitive environment and declining economy, according to officials at the Valley Oaks Golf Course.
Reduced consumer spending and unexpectedly stiff competition from a new course in Dinuba, Calif. have created financial concerns for the 27-hole Valley Oaks layout, despite a 2008 that looked deceptively positive, the course managers said in an article in the Visalia Times-Delta.
Statistics released by CourseCo — a Tracy, Calif.-based firm that the city pays $135,000 a year to manage Valley Oaks — showed that, for the year ended in June, 77,000 rounds of golf were played at the course, up more than 5 percent from the previous 12 months. But the trend over the last six months of 2008, when Valley Oaks saw a precipitous 12 percent decline in rounds, now has course management and city officials alarmed.
Still, Jeannie Greenwood, Facilities Manager for the Visalia Department of Parks and Recreation, said CourseCo’s performance was “good” in the face of the overall economic downturn and fierce competition from Dinuba’s Ridge Creek Golf Club, a championship course that opened last summer.
Michael Sharp, Operations Manager for CourseCo and Aaron Hensley, General Manager for Valley Oaks, have taken aggressive action to maintain membership numbers, including improving course conditions, including repair and replacement of substandard greens; purchasing up to 100 new golf carts; replacing the course superintendent in August (the new Superintendent is Danny Moak), and beefing up promotional staff and marketing efforts, particularly through new personnel at the Tracy corporate headquarters.
Tell Us What You Think!
You must be logged in to post a comment.