Letters to the Editor

Reasons golf courses continue to lose money

Municipal golf loss continued in 2017 and here are the reasons why.

Thank you to Casey Drew, Cedar Rapids finance director, and Sandi Fowler, Cedar Rapids assistant manager, for meeting with me to explain how the outside charges allocated to the city golf budget were determined. The short answer: it’s based on the number of full- and part-time employees used to run the municipal golf courses throughout the year. No surprise, as it had been my impression for several years, they have too many full-time employees. Specifically. the certified PGA golf pros are salaried with benefits and should only be independent contractors. Tons of money would be saved in this area.

There are several marketing changes which have previously been pointed out over the years and ignored that also would provide more income.

However, the most glaring snafu is the location of the municipal golf retail shop with two employees at Jones Golf Course on Fruitland Blvd. open four days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Who made that decision to locate a retail shop on a dead end street? The obvious location would be Twin Pines Golf Course on 42nd St. N.E. which averages 6,000 cars daily going by the front door. Plus, it is surrounded by residents, businesses, also proximity to Kennedy and Xavier high schools. Opportunity and money lost. So sad.

Bottom line one has to ask: Does the city really want to run the municipal golf system properly or hand over a high profit center to private enterprise?

Larry D. Sharp

Cedar Rapids


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