BELOIT - Krueger-Haskell Golf Course in Beloit is enjoying increased revenue and boosted rounds played compared to last year, as the golf course moves on following an internal investigation that brought sweeping changes to the course.
The course revamped its pricing and policies with lower rates across the board for season passes and daily fees, with fees the lowest they've been in a decade, according to Golf Course Supervisor Mark Young.
New to the golf course is Putterz Pub, overseen by The Rock Bar & Grill and Culver's co-owners Jim Agate and Bill Locke to bring a new food vendor to the clubhouse.
Total revenue through the end of May this year was up $7,000 from 2017, with season pass revenue up by $1,500 so far this year, according to golf course finance data. Cart pass revenue was also up to the tune of $10,000, while daily fee revenue dipped by about $2,000.
Despite the course being open only 15 days in April due to colder weather and heavy rains in June, the course is heading in the right direction, Young said.
"It's been off to a great start," Young said. "Despite the weather not cooperating with the late snow and summer rain, we've been busy on the nice days. We also introduced spring and early summer specials to help increase attendance during the early days. It's really exciting to see how many people have been out golfing when the weather has been nice."
With revenue up, so too are total rounds played. In total, 4,416 rounds were played from March to May 31, compared to 3,942 over the same time period in 2017. Season pass sales were also increased from 203 sold in 2018 compared to 159 sold last year, according to golf course data. In March, Young said he hoped to break the 200 mark of season passes sold by the end of the season in October and had already eclipsed the goal.
Annually, the course has around 19,000 to 22,000 rounds played each year, and all of the changes are aimed at boosting the visibility and bottom line of the course. The course receives a $50,000 tax appropriation to support operations. The bulk of the course's revenue stems from user fees and golf cart rentals.
"Considering the year we have had with weather we are actually doing well," Young said. "If the weather would have cooperated it would have been much better."
The course is preparing to host the 36th annual Great Swani Open Scramble on Aug. 18. The event is a 36-hole two golfer scramble, with the second day of the event taking place at Riverside Golf Course in Janesville, Young said.
Young said he wanted to focus on the future of the golf course following a tumultuous 2017 with an investigation into operations at the golf course that uncovered ethical and management questions. The probe resulted in the resignation of Beloit's former leisure services director and the shuttering of the course's volunteer program due to unpaid course and cart rentals by staff, volunteers and some staff family members.
All public works staff were re-trained on state and local ethics policies and supervisory refresher training given to DPW supervisors including Young.
Currently no volunteers work at the course, and a citywide volunteer policy is in draft form close to completion, aimed at being distributed later this summer, according to Director of Strategic Communications Sarah Millard.
The course will partner with the Beloit Club to start the "First Tee Program" to grow youth interest for golfing. The program will involve kids from the School District of Beloit up to middle school age, before expanding to high school students in future years.
The 2018 Season Rates: Resident single and senior passes cost $399, includes 5 complimentary 18-hole passes; residents 23-years-old and younger $199; 10 18-hole rounds resident limited play $169; 10 9-hole rounds $99. Nonresident single and senior memberships $475, includes five complimentary 18-hole passes; nonresident 23-years-old and younger $219; limited play nonresident $119.99 - $189. Cart rental passes from $549 to $899.
The 2018 Daily Rates: Resident $10.99 (nine holes); Resident $18.99 (18 holes); nonresident $12.99 (nine holes) nonresident $20.99 (18 holes).
Other 2018 Fees: Reciprocal Play Pass with nine other golf courses $18.96; locker rental $25; club storage $20; club rental $10.
Tax is not included in the 2018 rates. For more on the course, visit kruegerhaskellgolf.com.