Full Play Non-Resident Pass Sales Surge!

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Jan 20, 2023.

  1. Say What

    Say What Active Member

    Bill, there are many men's groups and many women's groups in Sun City that have been playing for well over 20 years the majority of the people in these groups are homeowners and members of Sun City but there are some and this has been going on for decades that come in and play with the brother a cousin a friend whatever and it's never been a problem. Now I had mentioned months ago in regards to husbands and wives that both of them don't have member passes because one of them is not on the deed which was made this way many many years ago which means only one part of the family can vote. I said at the time if you change the deed you have to pay the pif all over again which cost ungodly amounts of money. A solution to this pass debacle that's going on. First of all for you to get any type of pass at any discount rate your driver's license must have a Sun City address on it. Again there are a lot of people that own property here we're only one of them is on the deed and the other half has a privilege card. I will say one thing you go after these people you're going to have a war I promise you that. I have had many people with concerns of what you guys are doing and you pissed a lot of people off who have lived here for decades and never had a problem. But people using other people's card numbers, getting passes when they're under 55 years old yeah not a residence with the driver's license that shows they are a resident of Sun City is wrong. This is something that needs to stop. I went into Riverview snack bar for the holidays and had coffee with a friend and I could not believe how many people under 30 years old for playing golf many of them did not speak English which made me sick to my stomach. Am I racist no you're in my country you better speak the language though. And if you're in my country and you're in my town and you're playing on my course you better be 55 years old and paying more money than a member and that's all I can type right now and you guys have a great day I'll try to chime in again. But again I will say this and I'll keep pounding it in until you guys understand: there have been groups in Sun City playing for decades together don't mess with them and you need board members better listen to what they have to say because they are the voice and the GM knows that do you have groups 70 and 80 years old that have been playing here for decades you start messing with them you'll be poking a wasp nest. And one more thing anybody that buys a pass that does not have a Sun City ID if they do get a card it's just start with a four or five something like that which would make it impossible for them to make tee times if the computer was set up that way.
  2. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    The above posts from Carol, Janet and Say What are all making my point for me. I haven't golfed in 10 plus years and like most people living in Sun City (roughly 88% of us), we are pretty clueless about straight sheets and crossovers, 5somes versus 4somes, over seeding and rye grass versus bermuda. There's an entire vernacular that goes along with the challenges of owning 8 golf courses and trying to keep them as revenue neutral as possible.

    Say what is correct, group play has been in Sun City for years. What he/she failed to mention was the golfing community committees have been around even longer. For those who don't know, every course has a greens committee and members from them make up the golf advisory committee. Been that way for a very long time and back in the day, their voices were heard. This has been my central argument for the past 15 years; management simply stopped listening or caring what the members were saying to them. The former GM had a vision and by rewriting the documents her vision became reality. The boards who went along and voted for those changes were complicit (i was there as it happened and am also responsible) in allowing it to happen.

    The problems have magnified of late as the new GM thinks the RCSC and our amenities are a business proposition, not a community (his words, not mine). No one would argue the importance of making smart decisions, but those choices belong to the membership. I have long argued let the golfing community help decide what is in their best interests. All of which would start with solid data on every aspect of the challenges we face going forward.

    Sadly, members of the golfing community and the committees they serve on have been ignored. That has to change. Included in the data, to address say what's point about groups would be this: How many groups (30 or more) are there and how many players in those groups are actually Sun City residents? Based on the guy bellowing at me last year about not understanding how this worked, i am pretty confident his group(s) have outsiders included to reach the number required to override the lottery.

    While we don't have actual figures, using the "data" from year's end (Dec 2022), we can wild-ass guess the number of full play residents to be between 1300 and 1400. We can also best guess the number of non-resident full play passes to be in the 130-140 range. So best guess on full play passes would be 1500. We have been told there are roughly 4200 residents who golf. We know the surcharge and daily rates generate roughly 4.5 million dollars while the full play passes brought in last year 2.5 million dollars. We also know full play non-residents played about 13,000 rounds with all full play passes getting a third of the total tee times.

    None of this is relative unless or until you bring actual data before the golfing community. Because the next piece of the puzzle is who gets the prime time tee times? Literally we are talking about Nov-April and what percentage of those tee times goes to who/whom? My best guess is, the groups (most of which buy the full play passes), are getting the lions share of those preferable starting times. That's why the number of non-residents joining groups becomes an issue.

    Say what's point was the groups are entitled to those best times. Maybe if there were no non-residents playing it would be a reasonable argument, but once you factor in outsiders, end of discussion. Again, not my decision but one the golfing community should decide. Where i do believe my/our voices are entitled to be heard is when management decides to let our amenities go to non-residents at cheap rates. That should not, should not ever be the case.

    Got thrown off course a tad here, but the comments above were/are a teachable moment. The member/owners who golf should have a say in who gets what tee times. When you consider what Sun City West and Sun City Grand does regarding outside play, you will quickly see the difference, especially regarding selling them cheap golf...it simply doesn't happen.
    Bruce Alleman and Enigma like this.
  3. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    While serving on the RCSC board the former GM commented that Sun City courses would never be competitive with newer championship type courses; no matter how much we spent. She was spot on right in her assessment. She also was a huge believer in updating them to be more interesting to play. The biggest area was the sand traps which Sun City golfers often putted out of. With golf course renovations, the designer built traps that had to chipped out of. It was interesting hearing the reaction as the more senior players often complained about not being able to climb out of them, let alone hit a sand wedge out. To be fair, the backside entry was always such they could easily enter and exit.

    With the massive investment in the courses, i was always asking, "what's our plan to recover this investment?" It seemed like an obvious question to me. I had hoped a marketing campaign would come that would highlight the idea a golfer could play a different course every day of the week. Sadly, there was no plan other than "cheap golf." This mantra has been the calling card for more years than i can count. The daily rates are affordable on a comparative basis for both inside and outside play. It was our full play passes that knocked the socks off everyone else in Arizona.

    To give you an idea, here is the comparison between Sun City, Sun City West and Sun City Grand:
    Sun City:
    Full Play Pass Member (no limit on numbers of rounds played): $1550.
    Full Play Pass Non-Member: $2250 (no car); $2750 (with golf car).

    Sun City West:
    Full Play Pass Member: (no limit on number of rounds played): $3500.
    Public Frequent Player Pass: $1500 plus $35.00 (winter) and $19.00 (summer) for each round played.

    Sun City Grand:
    Full Play Pass Member (Premium pass, no limit): $4,755.
    Annual Pass Member: $1548 plus a per round fee of $25 per round (Oct-April) less in summer.
    They also sell a flex pass with limited number of rounds: 60 for $2862 and 90 for $4294.

    Startling when you compare and in addition, there is language in both communities insuring members have first choices at tee times. It's easy to see why people living outside Sun City buy the full play passes, even some in the above mentioned communities. Cheap golf has become our trademark for those who want to play 100-300 rounds per year.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
    eyesopen, Enigma and Janet Curry like this.
  4. Larry

    Larry Well-Known Member

  5. Larry

    Larry Well-Known Member

    Sun City golf for outsiders is cheap no matter how many rounds you’re talking about. Our daily visitor rate than our neighbors’s member rate. It’s not uncommon to see an outsiders’s vehicle with a trailer attached that has brought his own cart to one of our courses. Take a drive by on the weekend and see how many twenty somethings are playing.
    eyesopen, Enigma and BPearson like this.
  6. Linda McIntyre

    Linda McIntyre Well-Known Member

    Why are the golfers not speaking out more if they are really not getting tee times they want? Are their out of SC friends part of their groups? Are they afraid member rates will be raised? We keep putting this information out, yet it doesn't seem to get traction. We really need to see TRUE numbers of how much of our annual assessment is paying for golf.

    This is going to raise some controversy, but as we look forward to what we can realistically support and pay for, does a community with 5,000 golfers, more or less, really need 8 golf courses if we are really honest with ourselves? I'm NOT anti-golf, just being realistic. We obviously need outside players to support this many courses (at least under our current assessment structure). If so, then outside players need to pay appropriately to play. No question. What are we afraid of? They won't play here? They impact our courses with wear and tear. We invest in carts. They require maintenance. Do non-residents really care as much as we do about how things are taken care of?

    I understand RCSC is a complicated operation with many moving parts and demands on resources. That's why long range planning is essential, and continuing honest and open dialog between staff, board and members is crucial. That committee's are made up of people that are knowledgeable in the areas they are assigned (and NEW people are encouraged to join). Committee input to the Board is also essential for sound decision making. It's a cumbersome structure, but it's what we have. We have to find a way to be efficient and make it work. It worked for many years - it can work again.
    eyesopen and Enigma like this.
  7. Larry

    Larry Well-Known Member

    believe there are deed restrictions in place that require them as golf courses. I don’t believe anyone is complaining about outside play, it’s the method in which tee times are assigned. Non-residents are receiving preferential treatment over members. As far as speaking up, if nothing is going to change, people are tired of talking.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  8. Linda McIntyre

    Linda McIntyre Well-Known Member

    Larry you're right about deed restrictions, but I think the complaints about outside play are both low cost and preferential tee times. Plus, large number of under age 55 players.
    Janet Curry and eyesopen like this.
  9. Larry

    Larry Well-Known Member

    Agreed. It’s time for a serious review of the pricing structure and tee time allocation. It’s ridiculous that outsiders can play on our courses cheaper than thei home courses.
  10. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    As long as we are showing you the information we can get our hands on, let's take a little deeper dive, As the former board president pointed out, data matters. Keep in mind, these are just numbers and are for comparison purposes only:
    *Rooftops versus number of golf courses (community owned, not private):
    Sun City: 27,000 plus and 8 golf courses.
    Sun City West: 18,000 plus and 7 courses.
    Sun City Grand: 12,00 plus and 4 courses.

    For purposes of this exercise, i am not including Grand's financials, with only 4 courses and way more costly to play they simply aren't relevant. So lets look at the two comparable communities:
    * Rounds Played:
    Sun City: 350,000 plus.
    Sun City West: 320,000.

    Next let's look at revenue. Because SCW is on a June/June calendar year i am using their "projected revenues" for 2022/2023. As a matter of note, looking back at budgets for them they are usually very close to budgeting projections that are close, rather than under budgeting and then telling us how good they are doing.
    Sun City golf fees from year end reporting 2022: $6,851,532. (There was just under another million dollars in other revenue, cart rental, range balls and merchandise sales).
    Sun City West: Projected golf fees for 2022/2023: $9,469,162. ( i can't tell looking at their budget if this is just golf fees with other revenue).

    The point of this information is quite clear: Looking only at revenue and rounds played, Sun City West plays 30,000 plus rounds less and will take in roughly 1.5 million dollars more in revenue. To be clear, there are no factors included regarding actual cost.

    Sun City West's courses are newer and nicer, but not all that much. Year's ago they were operating under the same mindset, sell golf cheap. The membership was livid about the cost of subsidizing so much of the costs and changes were made. They still foot some of the bill, but clearly the community has benefited by looking at their courses as an amenity that has enormous value, both to the members first and outsiders who want to come and play on unfilled member tee times.
  11. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    That raises an interesting question! Once our golf courses are converted over to desert landscape, I would assume that they will be less expensive to maintain?

    Just wondering how that will fit into the equation?

    I was once told a few years ago, pre-Covid, by a former board member that if each golf course were to shut down for one month on a rotating schedule then golf would be profitable.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  12. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    While it sounds good converting to desert landscaping (and to be clear, they won't be getting water for the roughs based on the 5th water management plan by the state), the cost will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million dollars. Staggering and everyone just shrugs their shoulders and says it is what it is. I've quit worrying about whether golf can break even, the reality is it can't and never will. What i am worried about is giving away our amenities to non-residents.

    I heard the gm tell us the other day how good golf did in 2022, but once you factor in how much they are spending from PIF and the depreciation schedules that are in play, it will never happen. Saying things doesn't make it true.
    Janet Curry and Enigma like this.
  13. Linda McIntyre

    Linda McIntyre Well-Known Member

    This is WHY we need fully disclosed financial reports. No smoke. No mirrors. No deficit budgeting. Carry forward funds must be a separate line item with itemized spending. A capital project budget is "talked about" but who sees it? The discussion during the Finance Report at the last board meeting about the "fluctuating amounts in the carry forward balance" again raises serious concerns about how finances are being reported, expenditures being budgeted, disclosures being properly made to the Board, Finance Committee and the members. It's time carry forward is segregated, and treated as a separate account.
    Janet Curry and Enigma like this.
  14. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Not that I am qualified to fully understand them, but why are the 990's still no where in sight?
    Janet Curry likes this.
  15. Linda McIntyre

    Linda McIntyre Well-Known Member

    They should have been filed and RCSC should definitely post them. As far as IRS on their website, I assume they are way behind, but.....
    Janet Curry likes this.
  16. Larry

    Larry Well-Known Member

    Please tell me any venue in Sun City that makes a profit. Everyone gets all worked up about golf not making money, but tell me anything in Sun City does.

    Additionally, how would you like it if you wanted to workout at one of the fitness centers and were told “sorry, people from Sun City West are using the facility today, or your club can’t meet at Marinette today, you’ll have to go to Fairview at 3:00pm instead of your normal 9:00am because people from Peoria have reserved the room. I’m betting most people would go absolutely ballistic. Just something for you non-golfers to consider.

    Likewise, if we close one of the fitness centers, we would save money. That’s as dumb an idea as closing one of the golf courses.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  17. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Are you kidding me? Sun City packs away over a million dollars every year! We are profitable. It's just that golf, one phase of our many amenities, is falling short.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  18. Larry

    Larry Well-Known Member

    Not spending the annual assessment isn’t making money.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  19. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Two points then I'm done:

    1. We are, after all, a non-profit corporation.
    2. The real issue behind this thread is about giving away our amenities to non-residents.
  20. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    The point of this exercise has been to help readers understand the value and importance of golf as an amenity and more importantly it doesn’t have to something we should be giving away. Pretty simple really.
    Linda McIntyre and Janet Curry like this.

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