mikeyolympic

golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« on: June 18, 2003, 07:27:22 am »
i just saw a recent course gone to sh*ts in terms of conditioning. perfect bentgrass greens in california that were well kept until now... now i all i see are those damn poa annua heads all over the place....quite sad...

this got me thinking? how much does it cost a golf course or club to maintain a high quality of greens and fairways? how expensive is it really to keep the sand consistent, the fairways mowing stripes to be checkered? how much does it cost clubs such as augusta, pine valley, muirfield village, riviera to maintain such beautiful conditioning? any numerical figures?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

Bruce Katona

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2003, 05:05:25 pm »
The rule of thumb in the business is to insure your payroll expenses are less than 50 % of your total course maintenance budget. Being in the business and having the opportunity to share information with our peers, high end private clubs and the CCFAD courses who charge in excess of $100/round maintenance budgets exceed $1.0 million annually.

Maintenance budgets consist of three major componants:
1. Payroll and employee benefits
2. Course Maintenance Costs - Chemicals & Fertilizers, Sand, Sod & Seed, Maint. Equipment Repairs, etc. - $300,000-$350,000 annually
3. Maintenance Equipment Leases - at the typical higher end course this will run about $150,000 annually.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2003, 05:11:25 pm »
Mike,

You could spend a milliion, and still have problems with poa annua in the greens and fairways, especially in a place like CA where many types of grasses grow so well.  Poa is a problem just about everywhere....
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »
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Mike Benham

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2003, 05:31:59 pm »

Quote
The rule of thumb in the business is to insure your payroll expenses are less than 50 % of your total course maintenance budget. Being in the business and having the opportunity to share information with our peers, high end private clubs and the CCFAD courses who charge in excess of $100/round maintenance budgets exceed $1.0 million annually.

Maintenance budgets consist of three major componants:
1. Payroll and employee benefits
2. Course Maintenance Costs - Chemicals & Fertilizers, Sand, Sod & Seed, Maint. Equipment Repairs, etc. - $300,000-$350,000 annually
3. Maintenance Equipment Leases - at the typical higher end course this will run about $150,000 annually.


Don't forget water ... depending on the course and the water district it can get very pricey.

At a certain university owned course here in NorCal, water is "free" for the Supes budget but it is more than offset by having an entire unionized staff ...
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »
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RC

Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2003, 05:40:17 pm »
I would be curious to know what the clubs/courses of GCA'ers spend per hole on an annual basis.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

Forrest Richardson

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2003, 05:44:59 pm »
The Hideout (Utah) = $180,000 annual budget (half-season)

Shadow Creek (Nevada) - $1,800,000 annual budget (estimated)

Extremes. Yes.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »
— Forrest Richardson, Golf Course Architect/ASGCA
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JohnV

Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2003, 10:51:53 pm »
We do a survey of our member clubs every year.  Here are some numbers that might interest you:

Annual Maintenance Operations Budget:
Min: $170,000
Max: $1,400,000

Annual Capital Equipment Budget:
Min: $14,750
Max: $200,000

Green Budget as % of Overall Budget:
Min: 10%
Max: 65%

Labor Costs as % of Green Budget (including Benefits):
Min: 15%
Max: 66%

Staff:
Fulltime: Min: 1, Max: 18
Parttime: Min: 0, Max: 21
Seasonal: Min: 2, Max: 21
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

cary lichtenstein

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2003, 03:16:38 am »
In Florida, the very top of the line courses spend $1.5 million.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »
Lived Chicago, now Fl, was a 4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 2 back, wrist, shoulder surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler w/o it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, I don't miss nasty weather, icing,back spasms and da jerks.

Brad Klein

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2003, 04:01:46 am »
The one rule of thumb in maintenance is that conditions vary widely as per geography, labor costs, desired quality and water availability. The biggest cost factor in maintenance is labor; the biggest challenge in future years will be water.

Average 18-hole budget for a golf course in the U.S. is $585,000. Your mom n' pop 18 will spend a lot less, your muni might spend less but also have high labor costs, and your high-end private club will be close to if not well over $1 m.

I know of clubs in Las Vegas that spend $1 million for water a year and $2.5 m for maintenance. One thing that's very interesting is that regionally, superintendents are pooling their data so that instead of being in secret competition with one another, they are information-sharing and thus providing a resource that undercuts behind-the-scenes back biting and competition.

Way too many clubs see maintenance costs as an expense rather than an investment. Every study of the industry has shown that money put into the golf course yields returns. That doesn't mean that all budget items are justified. It does mean that when you start going after the maintenance budget, the biggest asset at any facility and the biggest revenue producer - the golf course - is likely to suffer.

As for Poa annua, it's not a "problem."It's an indigenous plant that eventually makes its way into cool season, coastal and wet climate courses, and eventually onto desert courses. People make it sound like a horrible weed, whereas it's not that bad to manage and most greenkeepers have reconciled themselves to it. The first U.S. Open played on truly bentgrass as opposed to predominantly Poa annua greens was 1999 at Pinehurst, so it's not the worst thing. Other than springtime seed head production, it is commonplace and not that bad, though obviously it's an inferior putting surface to pure bentgrass. If you can forestall it for a decade you are doing wonders. If you want to forestall it for longer you usually have to regrass.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

A_Clay_Man

Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2003, 04:17:58 am »
Brad- So how do you educate the powers that be that it is an investment and not an expense?  
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

Don_Mahaffey

Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2003, 05:04:31 am »
Adam,
My answer to the question you asked of Brad is to try and promote Superintendents into decison making positions. The PGA has done a very good job of monopolizing GM positions for their members. But, more and more Supts. are moving up the food chain. The golf course usually requires the largest % of budget when compared to other departments, yet Supts. haven't been as succesfull at earning the GM positions as the Pros and even F & B managers. That's starting to change and I expect it to change at a more rapid pace in the future. I doubt anyone other then the Supt. knows the cost of not replacing worn out equipment or skipping a pre-emergent app because the restaurant needed new flatware.

I hope you guys can make the trip over prior to the NM get together. I promise I will not water the fwys for a week before you get here ;D  
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

Steve Lang

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2003, 05:46:01 pm »
:)

Just intersted in how many rounds per year the "types" courses named above would be expected to have and thus impact their maintenance budgets... are these approximate numbers below realistic?  Comments please..

muni-northern clime (apr-oct) 40,000
muni-southern clime (365 d) 80,000

ccfad-northern clime (apr-oct) 30,000
ccfad-southern clime (365 d) 50,000

resort-northern clime (apr-oct) 15,000
resort-southern clime (365 d) 30,000

private-northern clime (apr-oct) 15,000
private-southern clime (365 d) 40,000
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »
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Tom_Doak

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2003, 04:40:04 pm »
Fifteen years ago, I knew the numbers pretty well.  But somewhere in the nineties, either I lost touch, or the powers that be lost touch with reality.

I was at a meeting in Palm Springs last year and some members were giggling over the frugal maintenance budget at Los Angeles Country Club.  I asked what it was, and they replied that it was "only" $1.8 million for 36 holes.  When I said that didn't sound so low to me, they remarked that several clubs in Palm Springs spend $2 million just for 18 holes!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

Norbert P

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2003, 08:37:50 pm »

Quote
The golf course usually requires the largest % of budget when compared to other departments, yet Supts. haven't been as succesfull at earning the GM positions as the Pros and even F & B managers. That's starting to change and I expect it to change at a more rapid pace in the future.


  Don, Thanks, that's an optimistic opinion.  I hope you are right.  I don't mean to disrespect the Clubhouse administrators but I don't know of too many people who play a course over and over again because of the building or the curbside bag drop greeter but EVERYBODY critiques the course.  That's where the true customer service should be most attended to, as you know.   Now, if we can just educate the public on HOW the courses should be maintained, some Supts. may change their practices with those expectations.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »
"Golf is only meant to be a small part of one’s life, centering around health, relaxation and having fun with friends/family." R"C"M

SBusch

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Re: golf course conditioning/maintanence costs
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2003, 04:41:39 pm »
Steve,

Your projections for rounds at northern courses are good, depending on which market you're in.  Your southern projections can be cut back by quite a bit, unless you're talking about California.  Instead of double the rounds of northern courses, southern courses host around 20-30% more rounds.

That said, rounds have only a moderate influence on the cost of maintenance.  There is a basic level of maintenance somewhere in the $250 - 300,000 range which cuts the grass on a regular basis and keeps the course in an acceptable muni range.  As you step up the scale of quality to daily fee, high end daily fee, private, premium daily fee, and premium private, customer expecations demand additional levels of "finish" on the maintenance side.  Each has a cost, in the form of additional equipment and supplies, but labor usually is the biggest line item to expand.

Some design features, such as bunker design, have additional cost factors as well, but again, the reason that private clubs spend $1 million is the level of detail demanded by their members.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 05:00:00 am by 1056376800 »

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