St. Paul Golf Courses Still Suffering from Chilly Spring

Posted at: 07/04/2013 8:48 PM
Updated at: 07/05/2013 7:49 AM
By: Todd Wilson

John Hermes and his son, Steve, were warming up for a round of golf at Phalen Golf Course. He said spring rain cut play in his Thursday night league.
"Almost four Thursdays in a row, so the season's been shortened a bit," Hermes said.

The golf season had a late start this year; bad weather kept courses closed most of April.

When they could open, they booked just over 2,000 rounds, making roughly $43,000. That means in the month of April courses booked fewer than 20 percent of the rounds booked the year before and took in just more than 10 percent of the revenue.

May numbers helped the season total, but total rounds are still down more than 50 percent, and revenue is still down more than 40 percent.

Jody Christensen is the golf pro at the Phalen course. She says it was a brutal spring financially for all the courses. "You never plan on making that money up; basically it's lost money," Christensen said.

She says all the courses are looking stronger these next few months. "Maybe we'll have a great fall and we'll go into December; who knows, but we can hope, can't we?"

To offset their losses, Parks and Recreation increased regular weekend greens fees $1 at all courses. They also stepped up advertising in local papers, email blasts and on social media.  
Hermes says he's planning to get in as much golf as he can before the season ends.

While total revenue is down more than 40 percent, total expenses have increased nearly 5 percent.