Regarding Chris Baldwin's column on the lack of respect for nine-hole golf courses: Speaking from actual experience (I'm a partner in Willowhill Golf Course, a nine-hole course in Northbrook, Ill., one of Chicago's North suburbs), if you provide a "real" course at a reasonable rate, people will play it.
Our course is a links style, par 35 (3-3's, 2-5's) and is about 3,000 yards. What sets it apart is, like "big courses," it is fully irrigated with bent grass tees, greens and fairways along with 22 bunkers. The green complexes are as tough as the ones I've designed for high-end and private courses and roll true at 8-9'. We also provide a 45-station all-grass tee range.
Now for the facts. Over the past 10 years, we have averaged 36,000 rounds where the high end, daily fee courses are getting 25,000. Our parking lot is populated with everything from Pontiacs to Porshes. What we have IS THE ALTERNATIVE to the $90, five and a half-hour round. We offer the two-hour-and-15-minute, $20 round. At that price, you can bring the wife (and kids) and at that time, not disappear for the day.
Yes, today we are strapped for time and need a place to our golf "fix". But, it doesn't need to be Venti or Grande, Tall will do - it the quality is there. Our numbers prove that.
Tim Nugent, ASGCA
PS: We also clear close to $200k/yr.
September 4, 2006