Winnipeggers played fewer rounds of golf at four city-maintained courses in 2016 amid what the city's golf services agency calls an oversaturated market.
According to golf services' annual business plan, golfers played 73,769 rounds in 2016 at the the city-operated Kildonan Park, Windsor Park and Crescent Drive golf courses as well as at Harbour View golf course, which the city maintains but is operated by a private contractor.
That's a drop of 4,894 rounds, or 6.2 per cent, from the 78,663 rounds played at the four courses in 2015. While that drop is not severe — there were fewer rounds played at the four courses in 2014 — there remain too many golf courses in the Winnipeg area, golf services chief operating officer Alan Shane writes in the agency's 2017 business plan.
"The market is well served with a wide range of types of courses, ranging from private and semi-private championship quality courses to short, practice courses that are oriented to beginners and families. In all, there are approximately 50 courses within a 70-kilometer radius of Winnipeg," Shane writes in the report, which was published Monday and comes before city council's innovation committee on Friday.
"The current Winnipeg golf market is oversaturated with golf courses, whereby supply exceeds demand. In recent years, this over supply has resulted in the closure of one golf course and another being scheduled to close in 2018. Most others golf courses are currently adjusting their operating models to remain solvent"
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Despite the drop in rounds, revenues from green fees rose $152,000 from 2015 to 2016, from $1.59 million to $1.74 million. The agency is expected to post a $631,000 surplus this year but return it all to general revenues to help reduce its long-term debt.
In addition to maintaining four city-owned courses, the city leases out seven other courses at Tuxedo, Wildewood Club, Canoe Club, St. Boniface, Assiniboine, Transcona and Rossmere.
It also leases out John Blumberg, which has been declared surplus and is slated to be sold off next year.