Clovis’ parks and recreation director isn’t sure when, but Colonial Park Golf Course will temporarily be a nine-hole course for a few months.
Bill Bizzell said bids are still coming in on labor for fixes to the irrigation system at the Colonial Park Golf Course, purchased last year and taken over in May by the city.
Bizzell said the challenge is the front nine has an “antiquated” hydraulic system, and needs to be replaced because nobody manufactures parts for the system any more. The course has two different sprinkler systems, because the back nine was added to the course about a decade after original nine was opened.
The irrigation system will be renovated nine holes at a time, Bizzell said work estimates ranged from 30 to 60 days. Equipment costs are $136,918.
“No one is happy when the golf course is down for improvements,” Bizzell said. “The golfers aren’t happy about being inconvenienced. Saying that, if we’re going to get it in the shape it needs to be, that’s that plan we have to do.”
The city purchased the course for $2.81 million as part of its parks and recreation master plan. The purchase allowed the city to then shutter the nine-hole municipal course and absorb it into Hillcrest Park for recreational improvements —including walking trails, youth sports fields and a dog park opened earlier this year.
During negotiations to purchase the 18-hold CPGC, then the Chaparral Country Club, Bizzell said old ownership was asked simply if systems were operational, and not specifics.
“I think we probably should have spent more time ensuring the systems were in good standing,” Bizzell said.
Golfers at the course on Thursday generally were happy with the course, and took a big picture approach.
“Right now, it’s as good of shape as it can be,” said Andrew Knight, who has lived in Clovis for 43 years and holds a membership at CPGC. “This has always been a fantastic course; it’s an 18-hole course, and it’s pretty tough.”
Charlie Maciel, a private contractor who manages the course, said the club has about 130 memberships of various types. Plans range from $350 per year for a senior citizen to $799 per year for an individual to $1,199 a year for a family.
Even assuming all 130 memberships are of the $799 variety, that gives the course $103,870 in revenue. That, plus greens fees and cart rentals from non-members, don’t come close to the course’s current yearly budget of $418,000.
“Golf courses are highly subsidized,” Bizzell said. “It makes no difference where you go. It’s a service cities provide for their citizens and it’s highly subsidized.”
Through February, Bizzell said there were 12,423 rounds played at CPCG in the 10-month period since the city took it over in May.
Maciel said his annual goal is 24,000 rounds played.
Rounds played per month at Colonial Park Golf Course:
May 2011 1,449
June 2011 1,482
July 2011 1,630
Aug. 2011 1,416
Sept. 2011 1,474
Oct. 2011 1,675
Nov. 2011 1,072
Dec. 2011 417
Jan. 2012 1,092
Feb. 2012 709