Birmingham's Golf Courses Report $21,000 More in Revenue for 2012
"We've had a really impressive year," Department of Public Services Director Lauren Wood said, noting the 2012 season was the best the city's golf courses have seen in five years.
After struggling for several years, Birmingham's two public golf courses may be back on the track to success.
"We've had a really impressive year," Wood said as part of her 2013 strategy report on the city's two public golf courses, presented to the Birmingham City Commission on Nov. 12.
As of the beginning of November, Wood said more than 53,000 rounds of golf had been played at both golf courses during the 2012 season. That's up from just over 42,000 rounds played by the end of the 2011 season.
Meanwhile, memberships at both courses are up 31 percent in 2012, Wood said, while total revenues through Oct. 16 was at $143,060, up $21,000 from last year.
According to Wood, this is the best the golf courses have performed in the last five years.
"In all, the 2012 season embarked our courses on a new and, in some cases, daring path towards self-sufficiency," the report from Wood reads. "We have charted a new direction and will continue to build on our strengths and address our weaknesses."
Wood's news comes as a breath of fresh air after several difficult years at both golf courses. In 2011, rounds played dropped 11.72 percent, translating into an operating deficit of $146,122 for both courses — up from an deficit of $81,471 in 2010.
"I wish I could be there with better news but unfortunately, I can not say anything but we lost money in 2011," Assistant Director of Public Services Jeff Bremer said during a city commission meeting in late March. "We're at a loss to really understand how, in one season, we lost (almost) 6,000 rounds."
However on Nov. 12, Wood tipped her hat to Birmingham's new golf operations and clubhouse manager Jacky Brito, who was hired this year and has overseen the sale of beer and wine at both golf courses after the city received a liquor license in early July.
"Hats off to Jacky and her team," Wood said. "They've had a wonderful year," noting that while alcohol sales haven't been as high as anticipated, the golf courses have brought in $11,000 in new revenue from the sale of beer and wine.
While final figures from the 2012 season — including the final tally of all expenditures — won't be available until the spring, Wood outlined some prospective plans for the 2013 golf season, including:
- Hiring a seasonal golf instructor to help with the junior golf program, tournaments, member outings and more.
- Planning more year-round activities at the golf courses.
- Adding online registration for the junior golf program.
- Marketing the golf courses earlier in the season, including offering a mid-season discount beginning in July for new non-resident memberships.
- Holding a membership drive at various golf shows, including the Novi Golf Show.
- Making sure food is available on a more consistent basis at both courses.