Commission evaluates marketing efforts, plans vision meeting

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Members of Amsterdam’s golf commission met Wednesday evening at City Hall to discuss the course’s marketing efforts, maintenance issues and future administrative structure.

According to commission member Pam Ritter, revenue for the month of July has remained flat compared with last year. But the number of rounds played by non-members in July saw a modest increase over last year with 1,345 rounds being played versus 1,261 in 2013.

In regards to the increased numbers, Ritter said, “Whether it drives people to come back and play and pay greens fees or purchase a membership remains to be seen.”

Commission member Dustin Swanger said he thought it would be a mistake to judge the overall effectiveness of the marketing campaign based on only one month of data. “Anything we can do to try to increase traffic at the course would be beneficial,” said Swanger.

Currently the course offers three reduced rate specials on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday. The commission members agreed to continue with the Thursday and Sunday specials, while eliminating the one on Monday. They also voted to offer an end-of-season discounted membership rate.

Members discussed a wide variety of maintenance issues with Golf Course Maintenance Supervisor Jim Derrick. Derrick spoke in defense of his work in light of negative comments about the condition of the course made at previous meetings. He said that the greens-fee paying players have told him they “love the course” and that they think the condition is “phenomenal.”

According to Ritter, the commission will also go ahead with plans to have a Robert Trent Jones consultant visit the course to develop recommendations for landscaping and operational improvements.

The meeting’s agenda included looking at job descriptions for course staff. But Swanger urged the commission to spend time working on a new organizational structure first.

Swanger said, “I’m wondering if what we ought to do is have a time to talk about what structure is needed at the golf course, and then deal with job descriptions. Because if we believe a golf course manager is needed, we should create an organization chart that has the golf course manager and then the other positions that are needed and then do the job descriptions with everybody reporting up to the golf course manager…What I’m hearing clearly from the public…is that …on a day-to-day basis nobody’s in charge and somebody needs to be…as a governing body it’s our responsibility to attempt to put the correct structure in place. I think rather than piecemeal it, at the next meeting we should just map out the structure that we think is the right structure.”

Members agreed to hold a four-hour meeting on August 27th at the golf course from 5pm to 9pm to discuss what a new organizational structure for the golf course might look like. The public is welcome to attend.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.