WHITEHALL PUBLIC GOLF COURSE P.O. Box 515 Whitehall, WI 54773 715-538-4800
February 21, 2017
As the 2017 golf season approaches, there is change in the air. The trees will soon be budding, temperatures will begin to rise, and Whitehall Public Golf Course is under new management. I think it’s natural that the first instinct we all have is to resist change – I personally put off wearing my winter coat until the last possible moment, as if not doing so will keep winter at bay that much longer. But as nature uses winter to shed its old leaves, it brings forth new refreshing beauty in the Spring. As your new General Manager, I am excited to have the opportunity to bring forth refreshing changes to Whitehall Public Golf Course as well.
The golf industry as a whole has suffered over the last decade. It has become more difficult to attract younger golfers to the sport and economic conditions have had a negative impact on membership numbers as well. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for courses to maintain profitability without making changes to their operations. Operational costs continue to rise -- whether it be fuel, fertilizer, or parts for machinery maintenance. Unfortunately, these costs eventually have to be passed on to our guests -- both members and non-members alike – through higher membership rates, green fees, cart rental fees, food and drink prices. I will do everything in my power to prevent any increases unless absolutely necessary!
I will be increasing marketing efforts for the bar, restaurant, and event hosting capabilities of WPGC. My goal is to attract a wider range of businesses and guests to our beautiful facility, and in turn increase revenue. We had a solid number of bookings for events over the holiday season, and the response to our new menu has been positive. I have kept the Bar & Grill open 7 days a week over the winter, and we’ve had good days and bad days. The positive news is that the good days are beginning to outnumber the bad ones, but it has been difficult communicating our new hours to the community. The benefits of these changes may not be visible overnight, but I am confident that over time they will help us become more diverse as an organization, and strengthen us against market conditions such as extremely long winters or above average rainy seasons that negatively impact our golf operations.
We have begun a fund whose sole purpose will be to provide for future course improvements. This fund will assist in maintaining fences, outbuildings, signage, etc. to maintain the beauty of our course. Any donations are greatly appreciated! If you are unable to donate financially, volunteer opportunities will also be available to help in the completion of improvement projects. Due to various reasons, we entered into the winter months without the normal financial surplus from a healthy summer golf season. Our options were few – take out loans or increase lines of credit (both of which end up costing us more money in the long run through interest charges, etc.). We chose to increase our line of credit, but we are at a critical point as we wait for the golf season to begin. I am asking for your help as members to ease our financial stress over the next couple of months until solid golf revenue returns.
I am asking each member to renew your membership now for the 2017 season. This will enable us to have the necessary cash flow on hand to make it through these next couple of months. There are some great benefits to you for doing this: 1) avoid any price increases that may occur for next year’s rates. 2) Get a $25 gift certificate for use in the bar & grill or 2 free greens fee passes to use in 2017. What a great opportunity to invite a non-member to the course and show them what a beautiful experience they can have here in Whitehall! Your help is greatly appreciated – and you get a great benefit as well!
I look forward to serving all of you in the coming years, and firmly believe that, working together, we can all make Whitehall Public Golf Course the success it has the potential to be!