ROCHESTER – An assessment by the National Golf Foundation shows that a variety of options could be at stake for the Soldiers Field Golf Course.
“The city would likely benefit from a full reassessment of the Soldiers Field GC property, as aging infrastructure and limited property sizes call into question the city’s future in golf,” the 136-page report said recently. published commissioned by Rochester City Council.
The recommendation for review comes as the city is reviewing its park proposals initiated in 2014, which sparked a discussion about reducing golf in the park when it was released.
The Golf Foundation report said reducing to a 9-hole course or eliminating the centrally located golf course are options, as well as an investment in upgrades.
Doing nothing does not appear to be advisable, according to the report to be discussed at a joint Rochester Park city council and board meeting at 3:30 p.m. Monday in the council chamber at the city-county government center, 151 Fourth Saint-SE.
“The city can see that the key decision in the future of this golf system is what to do with Soldiers Field, with upgrading, reducing or shutting down all viable options,” the report said.
Established in the 1930s, the Soldiers Field municipal course is the oldest in the city.
The National Golf Foundation said the course operates with key systems that are past their expected useful life, but the course is performing at an acceptable level for less serious golfers, who make up the bulk of its customers.
The existing golf course (Soldiers Field) fits well into the Rochester City system, the report said, noting the potential for necessary improvements.
“The shorter 18-hole golf course offers a straightforward golf design with fewer challenges that attracts less skilled and less serious golfers, many of whom are seniors and active in one (or more) of the many leagues that use this course. golf course. “
Many of these golfers have raised concerns about the proposed changes related to the 2014 discussions, and the city’s Parks and Recreation department has ultimately delayed further discussions.
City council, however, sought the advice of the National Golf Foundation to determine if the overall municipal golf program could be improved.
The consultant said the 63-hole golf course is well managed, but recent staff cuts have created challenges for operations.
“The city may find that continuing to operate four golf facilities with just seven full-time employees is not sustainable for the long-term financial health of the system,” the report says, suggesting at least three new hires for maintenance and exploitation.
While the report recommends $ 3.6 million in potential improvements, primarily to the Northern Hills and Eastwood route, over the next five years it indicates potential savings by reducing the number of routes.
“If the city were to close Soldier Field GC, the economics of golf should improve with reduced spending,” he said.
The Soldiers Field course has averaged the most games played of the city’s four municipal courses since at least 2016, but the National Golf Foundation predicts that the other courses would absorb about 50% of the games played on the center course. -city.
Projections suggest the closure would reduce city-wide golf revenues from $ 125,000 to $ 147,000 after 2024, but spending would drop from $ 267,000 to $ 280,000, for an overall savings that could reach 155 $ 000 per year.
City council and park council are not expected to make any decisions on Monday.
A proposed evaluation process would continue the golf program until this year, with a potential final recommendation after the season. He calls for a final decision by January 15 of next year.
In addition to discussing the golf program, the joint city council and park council meeting will include an update on a possible plan to accelerate park improvements funded by the voter-approved tax.
Meetings scheduled for the week of January 10 include:
• Public Service Police Commission, Monday at 3 pm. Access information is available on
• Joint City Council and Park Council study session, Monday at 3:30 pm, in the Council Chamber of the City and County Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE. The meeting will be webcast live at
and be available on Spectrum cable channel 180 or 188 and Metronet channel 80.
• Charter Commission, 4.30 p.m. Tuesday. Access information is available on
• Police policy monitoring commission, Wednesday at 3 pm. Access information is available on
• Energy commission, 4.30 p.m. Wednesday. Access information is available on
• Town planning and zoning commission, Wednesday at 6 p.m. Access information is available on
• Human Rights Commission, Thursday at 6 p.m. in Conference Room 2 of the City-County Government Center.
• Zoning Board of Adjustment, Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the city-county government center boardroom.
• Annual County Commissioners Meeting with State Legislators, Cascade / Whitewater Room at 2100 Campus Drive SE.