Many golf courses around the country are seeing attendances down due to an unusually high amount of rain for this time of year. With Easter being a traditionally popular time for golfers to start their golfing seasons this has reduced the amount of income that the courses receive.
And it’s not just the income from green fees and the snack window that is reduced, as many golfers seem to prefer to walk the course instead of taking a golf cart. Golf courses in New York have seen a large reduction in the income from golf cart rentals with the excessive rain creating large puddles on the courses. This is particularly an issue if the golf course does not have properly paved cart paths with the rain water being unable to run off and creating large muddy puddles where the carts would normally drive. Golf cart rental fees are vital to all courses, as Mike George with Northern Pines in Cicero points out. (quote taken from 9wsyr.com article)
“Your main source of revenue is golf cart revenue. It outweighs green’s fees quite a bit, our owners had the foresight to install cart paths four years ago, some courses aren’t as fortunate.”
There are workarounds to this problem with alternative routes that can be taken by the carts, but this may not be possible on all courses and usually results in damage to other areas of the course. The usually solution is to prevent golf carts going out on the course until later in the day when the course has had a chance to dry out. But this further reduces the amount of income that the golf course can generate from golf cart rentals during rainy weather.
As golf cart rental revenue is so vital for most courses, it is important for golf course operators to ensure that their courses have adequate cart paths that can handle run off from excessive periods of rain. Many courses don't even have cart paths or they are covered in a sprinkling of gravel and of low quality which does nothing to alleviate the problem in poor weather.
In todays economic climate golf courses must eke out as much profit as possible, and if that means upgrading existing paths or installing new cart paths to generate golf cart revenue, then so be it.