Teeing Up the Costs 

Seeing green

Last winter, Boise Weekly reported on how the city of Boise doubled its municipal golf course inventory, when Dave Hendrickson donated Quail Hollow (BW, Rec, "Teeing Up to Play Quail Hollow," Nov. 27, 2013). Now, the Boise City Council wants to know how its fees measure up to other golf courses in the Treasure Valley.

"Periodically, we'll give the Council a market comparison," said Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway. He said he makes a conscious effort to keep the rates at municipal golf courses in the middle of the pack.

The latest analysis shows just that: Of Boise's two municipal courses, Warm Springs Golf Course fees are $31 on a weekend and Quail Hollow's are $32. Comparatively, Indian Lakes Golf Club's are $27, Meridian's Lakeview charges $32, and Nampa's Ridgecrest Golf Club charges $35. Outliers include Mountain Home Golf Course at $20 and Eagle's BanBury Golf Course at $49.50.

Of the 12 courses examined, the municipals fall almost smack dab in the middle on everything from weekday prices to golf cart rentals. Holloway said finding that sweet spot is important.

"I think we're about where we would like to be," Holloway said. "Because we're run by the city, we want to make sure that we're not significantly [cheaper] than the other courses of similar size and quality, because then it looks like we might be utilizing the city as a public entity to undercut prices. But we also want to make golf very affordable."

Holloway said these courses aren't trying to compete with high-end clubs like BanBury. Playing at Warm Springs or Quail Hollow is "different" from those places.

"And it attracts a different type of golfer," Holloway said.

Making golf accessible is a big goal at Quail Hollow and youth programs have been in the works since the city took it over in December. Holloway said the price point makes it all possible.

Both of Boise's municipal courses operate with revenue they generate, using no tax dollars. Some start-up costs came out of general funds for Quail Hollow but that includes building a restaurant, which is slated to open this summer. Other than that, all maintenance and expansion must come from within. Holloway said the price point on these golf courses meets that goal, too.

The City Council thanked Parks and Recreation for its analysis and made no plans to change rates.

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