With the city losing money each year in their golf operations, I applaud the city for taking the first step to correct the issue by hiring a consultant. The first thing they need to do is to understand that the volunteers are more than just that, they are ambassadors for the golf operation.
A few years ago the city took several things away from the volunteers such as a food and beverage discount and even made the volunteers pay a few dollars for a rental cart (because gas prices went up). If the volunteers have a negative opinion of the golf operation they make poor ambassadors and do very little to attract golfers. I know because I was a volunteer for several years at a large golf operation.
The next thing they could do is to offer specials without attaching strings to it, such as their offer of a free green fee on your birthday as long as you rent a power cart. Other courses in the area offer specials for 18 holes of golf including a power cart for $10, $15, $18 and $20 (Cedar Rapids is $28). Waterloo has three city courses and you can play any of the three on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for $20. Raising the fees does not attract more golfers. Another thing they could do is sell off all of their maintenance equipment and rent new ones. This has proved to be an effective cost saving move for other courses.