Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by eyesopen, Sep 12, 2023.
Video is available for viewing 2.5 hours long HERE
What a welcome contrast in the decorum of this year’s meetings and past years!
I think members are participating because they trust they’re listened to and understood.
Town Halls are critical in this decisioning process…I anticipate large and vocal attendance!
Wed. 10.4.2023 2pm - 4pm Sundial
Wed. 10.18.2023 7pm - 9pm Fairway
Mon. 11.13.2023 10am - 12pm Sundial
Tues. 11.14.2023 6pm - 8pm Mt. View
Anyone willing to watch the 2.5 hours of video from the Exchange deserves a medal; especially if they aren't golfers...and in most cases, golfers who buy a full play pass. It was pretty clear John Nowakowski's recommendation to stop selling full play passes (to anyone), touched a nerve. I was stunned there were still a couple of members who stood at the mic arguing how important those non-member full play passes were (their friends they wanted to play with who didn't live here). Really? Even after Director Collins pointed out when they purchased a golf car with it ($3250) it was akin to stealing tee times from members and the added revenue once the cost of the golf car was subtracted, resulted in us taking the hose.
The problem is, most members are clueless when it comes to golf. Worse yet, getting them up to speed is nearly impossible. There's just too many nuances between the varying passes, the changes based on times of year, the infighting over tee times using a draw system that is infected with small group overrides and a myriad of other things making it nonsensical to anyone who doesn't play, or hasn't played.
The easiest summary is this: Sun City was built on a foundation of "cheap golf." If you watch the video you will hear the argument by some they were entitled to cheap full play passes, that was why they moved here. The practical reality is this: When comparing the cost of a member full play, here's the breakdown: Sun City: $1550. Sun City West: $3600. Sun City Grand: $4755. Both West's and Grand's courses are nicer than ours, but neither of those communities are trying to market "cheap golf." In fact, one could argue, they would prefer not to sell full play passes that encourages golfers to play more golf to make the passes pay for themselves.
All three communities sell various enticements to encourage play. In Sun City it is called a Surcharge Pass. The other two have fancier names but ultimately do the same thing, save members some money with increased numbers of rounds. Neither of the other two offer non-member gimmicks (other than in the summer months when everyone is competing to fill empty tee times). In fact, Grand and West both charge non-residents substantially more than what members pay. It's only Sun City that thinks offering non-members smoking prices is smart business.
I've long argued the Golf Advisory Committee should be intimately involved in the decision making process of setting "fair pricing." However, as i said late in the meeting yesterday when i finally stepped to the mic, the golf advisory committee's actions over the past 6 years have been suspect. We know every year they add a dollar to the price for a round of golf to the RCSC members who drive the daily walk-in revenue (those without some sort of pass), but have left themselves untouched since 2017. No increases for those who play the most and pay the least.
Here' where it gets really interesting: In Director Nowakowski's letter to the editor he pointed out those pass purchasers had 61% of the usage and provided 39% of the revenue. His data was fascinating and further drilling down from the first 6 months (Jan-June) of 2023 we know the following:
1). Full Play Pass Buyers: 485 golfers paying an average of $12.19 per round.
2). Surcharge Buyers: 1617 golfers paying an average of $16.63 per round.
3). Daily walk-in golfers including guests and visitors: The mixed totals because it includes 2 months of reduced summer rates is just under $35 per round.
If you want to break it down further, there are approximately 4,200 Sun City residents (members and privilege card holders) who golf. We know there are in the neighborhood of 32,500 RCSC members with a total population of 38,000-39,000 residents. You can do the math as well as i, but the reality is the percentage of full play pass buyers living in Sun City is something less than 2%. When factoring only golfers, it obviously pops a bit but still isn't anywhere near representative of the communities golfing population.
With those numbers out of the way, let's get realistic. Golf isn't going away and from a practical standpoint, costs will continue to mount. I still think the golf advisory committee needs to take ownership of the questions and ultimate solution. That said, let me be very clear, the small cadre who have insured their costs have stayed the same while shoving increases at the majority of golfers to help subsidize their daily play costs has to stop. The problem gets worse, because there's more than a few Sun City golfers who see the course conditions to be worsening year after year.
The challenges of running 8 golf courses on the cheap simply is a flawed and failing process. And to the guys who proudly proclaimed Sun City to be the Wal Mart of senior communities; if that's your opinion (not mine BTW), it only happened because we let it become that way. Now it's time to fix the mess we all have been handed.
From the 1975 agreement when the Trust sold the golf courses to the RCSC:
"...It is the intent of Trustee that the golf courses will be managed in such a way as to match the income derived with the expenses incurred in the operation of the golf courses, thereby making the entire operation attain a break-even point..."
You MUST watch Bill speak at The Exchange!
Video HERE, advance to 2:11:04
Every non US citizen who come here to Sun City to play lawn bowling should be charged $1000 each for all the maintenance that we are paying for. This goes for golf too.
There you go say what, step up and be part of the solution. Interesting to note, most of those non-US citizens are Canadians who own homes here and paid their PIF and pay their yearly lot assessment for the 5 or or 6 months they are here. Or, were you talking about those coming in from outside North American for tournaments?
Do the area high schools that use the courses for practice and home course matches pay any sort of fee to use the courses?
Great question, i don't know but they have been doing this for a very long time.
If they don’t contribute financially,
they should at least provide volunteer maintenance hours periodically!!
high school teams don't pay.
We just don't have the correct people in the golf positions, talking about History, the last golf superintendent got along fine without outside golf. we had nice courses, great prices. Then along came Brian, he's not the right person to handle the Job. He really has no golf experience he's not a good businessman. The guy takes no responsibility for anything. His policy are old ones he rewords them. Fivesome on EX. courses he implements that rule every year after overseeding. If perhaps we could get all his guys off the advisory board. Now Bill you don't golf I do and I play a lot. If he did not let the Bandits run the course's all of us would be better off. Large groups do not own one course. The bandits have a standing tee time at willow creek every Sat. and when they want, they all get moved first to another course. That takes out all morning tee times from 7:00 am until Maby 9:00. QUARANTINED. So, we can go to these meetings and bring this stuff up year after year. Am I the only one who sees this. The problem with our golf is Brain. He has introduced us to outside play outside passes tournaments. he might look good on paper but he's giving everything away. He's a money man, money covers up a bunch of poor skills.
Trust me all this money that golf brings in does not go back into our courses. He does not know what to tell the superintendent he's always behind the 8 ball. All the complaint about golf course conditions are true. He has no clue as long as he has been here same stuff year after year. I saw in on South the other day so joking with him I said you know Brian,.... he's only showing you the good stuff you should play the course once in a while and see the bad bad stuff, read his opinion cards.
Thanks, Alesia, for your answer.
Ridiculous they don’t contribute financially!
They need to at least provide volunteer maintenance hours periodically!!
I think it is reasonable to expect the high schools to contribute financially to golf expenses if they use our courses. Now would be a good time to institute a change due to the increased costs for water management plans.
I am beginning to believe that some of the clubs in Sun City ought to donate time and skills towards the maintenance and upkeep of the facilities they use. This would also decrease maintenance costs the average Jill and Joe would be contributing. Another option to money woes perhaps.
There's been a long standing policy that for insurance purposes no one can touch anything other than employees. I always thought it was a dumb position.
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