Inflation impacts fees at the golf course

Courtesy/Dave Dent

TORRINGTON – Golf Professional Dave Dent presented the proposed golf course fees and tournament schedule for 2023 at the city council meeting on Nov. 15. The golf course’s fees have undergone evaluation, and many have been increased due to inflation. The tournament schedule will be similar to past years with only minor changes.

The Cottonwood at Torrington Golf Course fees that changed were all the annual membership fees, the annual trail fee, and the golf cart rentals. Inflation was a major factor in these decisions.

“I can’t do anything about inflation,” Dent explained. “But I’m monitoring it by making comparisons to other golf courses. I’m not just throwing it out there. I take into consideration our economic boundaries and geography.”

For the 2023 season, the annual fees will be $160 for a junior/student, $550 for one person, $765 for married couples, $860 for families, $170 for college students, $490 for single seniors 62 years or older, and $715 for married senior couples. The trail fee for an annual license will be $250. The golf cart rentals will be $10 per rider for a nine-hole game, $14 per rider for an 18-hole game, $475 for a year lease of a city cart for one person, and $605 for a year lease of a city cart for a couple.

The golf course employees have researched several similar 18-hole golf courses in the area to compare these rates. These courses were the Riverview, Skyview, 4-Winds, Douglas, and Monument Shadows. This research was done by contacting each golf course and discussing their prices over the phone.

“We’re not the highest; we’re not the lowest,” Dent said.

The 2022 annual fees for these courses for a single person were $548.60 for Riverview, $490 for Skyview, $599 for 4-Winds, $595 for Douglas, and $600 for Monument Shadows. In comparison, Torrington’s 2023 annual fee for a single person will be $550.

Other substantial comparisons were the trail fees and family golf cart rental. The 2022 trail fees for these other golf courses ranged from $75 to $316.50, compared to Torrington’s $250. The golf cart rental for a family ranged from $575 to 1,582.50, compared to Torrington’s $605.

“You are getting the best bang for your buck,” Dent said. “This is the best bang for your buck in the State of Wyoming, because of the quality of the golf course and we don’t cover our greens. We’re open all year round, weather permitting. Many of the other golf courses cover their greens and close.”

Dent explained that the Cottonwood Golf Course only closes due to weather related issues. The golf courses that cover their greens are typically only open six to eight months out of the year.

The trail fee is a fee that permits outside golf carts to use the trails on the golf course. This fee goes directly back into the golf course. This fund can be used by itself or used in junction with grants or budget money from the city. It is then used to maintain the trails, bridges, and on other important improvement projects.

“If you have a golf course, you want it to be the best that it can be in the valley, and you want to promote it and bring people here,” Dent said. “We have to move in that direction.”

The Cottonwood Golf Course attracts many people from different areas, not just Goshen County. Golfers come from Platte County, Cheyenne in the winter, Omaha, NE, and Colorado, among other places.

“Municipal golf courses focus on being great attractions and a good asset for the community,” Dent commented. “Our job is to try to provide this community and the public with the opportunity to come to our city. I don’t want our golfers to just play on our golf course, I want them to go into town.”

The golf course utilizes an online tee time, billboards, a Nebraska golf passport, a military discount, and a drone on the city website to attract both local and nonlocal golfers. Tournaments also help attract golfers to the golf course.

At this time, the 2023 tournament schedule has been planned but is still subject to change. Events are expected to be similar to previous years, however, they have yet to be confirmed. After solid confirmations have been made, an official schedule will be posted.

In the meantime, for more information contact Dave at the golf course.

Dent also explained that the golf course employees, volunteers, and the community have put a tremendous amount of effort into the golf course.

Recently, they have put in new bridges, planters, and tee boxes, and have begun working on the parking lot. None of the new tee boxes or planters were paid for by the city. They were all donated by a business or an individual. In addition, several members of the community have also donated work, supplies, and advertising to the golf course.

“I’m not doing this by myself,” Dent said. “I cannot do this without our maintenance crew. I cannot do this without the city’s budget. I cannot do this without the community’s support and donations.”

The Cottonwood Golf Course is a full experience. It has a front nine that is more wide-open with a tight back nine and a different layout.

“It’s beautiful,” Dent remarked. “We can’t keep this place to ourselves. This golf course is super important to this community, this valley, and this state.”

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