I know readers eyes glaze over when it comes to golf numbers and data. We’ve long heard the former board president tell us, “data/numbers matter.” I agree, and it was why i patiently sat on the sidelines waiting for the year end totals that were just released. If you were at or watched the last member/board exchange, you saw two Sun City residents speaking how difficult it is for them to secure tee times. For those unfamiliar, November-April is what is known as “prime time.” It’s when the courses fill and golfers are battling over playing at their favored times. This fiasco was first exposed early last year at the initial member/board exchange. Three long time residents, who happen to be member/owners, complained about how tough it was to schedule tee times. The board was miffed by the complaints and vowed to get to the bottom of it. Boy did they ever. In the coming months we found out the sale of non-resident full play passes during the pandemic doubled and in 2022, was far ahead of the pace of 2021. Then we heard they had access to the web portal (just like members did). But wait, it gets worse, way worse: We also found out they could join small groups of 30 or more and with a $2 override, bypass the lottery completely and get tee times belonging to RCSC members. Nope, not done yet because as we started digging, we found out they were guaranteed a golf car for a fraction of what a member was renting one for (if they could get one at all). Following the summer break, Director Collins tried to pass a motion to address the problems related to non resident full play passes. It failed as the management team told the board everything was just fine and golf needed the revenue. But did they really? I’m one of those odd ducks who looks at financials and listens to what members were and still are saying. Everything i saw and heard told me differently. In fact what we saw happening in Sun City West was outside play was subsidizing their golf revenue but never at the cost of giving away rounds on the cheap to non residents. I was confident the year end numbers would substantiate what was wrong with our antiquated structure for selling golf. The solution sold by management and bought by the board was to increase non-resident full play passes by $250 in the two categories. It was laughable because we were giving our tee times away for a fraction of the real market value. Their argument was they would lose outside sales if they didn’t give them the bargain of a lifetime. So what? At least RCSC golfers would be able to get the tee times they were entitled to You don’t need to be a Rhodes scholar to understand the data just released: Member Full Play: 2022; $2,075,182. 2021; $1,915,571. Non-member full play: 2022; $319,581. 2021; $229,447. Daily Play and Surcharge: 2022; $4,456,767. 2021; $4,130,823. The great news is, golf revenue is up. The largest category are both members and non-members who are paying the market value for golf is increasing. A trend that bodes well. The bad news is the sale of non-resident full play passes has exploded. While a small amount of that is due the $250 increase, the bulk of the 300k plus 2022 revenue has proven the management teams actions did nothing to stem outsiders coming in and buying cheap golf and worse yet taking our (the RCSC members) tee times. It gets worse though: How many of those prime time tee times were taken from the daily play and surcharge category? We know in Sun City West 2.5 million dollars came from outsiders, but they never were given preferential treatment in accessing tee times (always after members had first choice) and they always paid more than what members would pay. The former board president was correct, data matters and it is high time to look closely at these figures and restructure how we sell and market golf to non-residents.