Hudson's Ellsworth Golf Course could pave the way in the future

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- A golf course could increase traffic and keep the course in better shape with paved cart paths, according to a presentation Nov. 26 to Council members about the city-owned golf course.

Trent Walsh, golf manager and superintendent of Ellsworth Meadows, told Council the city purchased 60 acres of land adjacent to the 100-acre Ellsworth Golf Course in 1997 and opened the course in 1999, completing improvements in 2004.

Walsh said paving the golf course cart paths would be one of the goals for the future to increase more playing times and preserve the course.

Currently the golf course adds 1,000 linear feet of asphalt per year and has 3,000 linear feet with another 8,000 linear feet to do, Walsh said.

He said without paved pathways, carts damage the course, and Ellsworth Meadows had $25,000 in loss this year because of course damage. Also, in wet conditions when carts can't be utilized, some players won't play the course and revenue is reduced.

There were no numbers given about what the cost of paving pathways would be.

Walsh presented a new list of projects based on safety, playability/pace of play and aesthetics of the course, maximizing the number of golf rounds and reducing maintenance needs.

The golf course handles about 35,000 rounds per year, Walsh said. He would like to push it to 40,000 rounds.

The golf course receives revenue from green fees, cart rental, merchandise, gift cards, food and beverage, facility rental, rebates and royalties. Revenue is impacted mostly by weather but also by the economy and other golf course competition.

"This area has a lot of golf courses," Walsh said.

Costs fluctuate for equipment, fuel, pesticides and food purchases.

The golf course prioritizes projects and is adjusted based on available funds and input from the Golf Advisory Board, he said.

Unfunded projects include the installation of a cart path, facility improvements, paving needs and drainage/stormwater management.

This past year the golf course recycled windows from the former Youth Development Center buildings before they were demolished.

By adding windows to the clubhouse, more people are renting the building, Walsh said. About 10 non-golf groups rented the clubhouse for $150 for the space.

Walsh said the capacity is 40 people in the clubhouse and 30 people on the patio, which could be used for small parties and business meetings.

Interim City Manager Scott Schroyer said the city could look at developing a fire pit to increase use of the clubhouse and patio and take a harder look at cart path paving in the future. The city would promote the clubhouse more in the future, he added.

If funding decreased, the golf course would have to reduce the frequency of maintenance work and reduce the seasonal staff.


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