Large Numbers Swinging In To Public Golf Courses

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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The hot weather hasn't been keeping everyone inside...
Wichita's public golf courses are reporting an increase in the numbers of golfers this year.
Last year, with all five courses combined, there were just over seventy-seven-thousand rounds of golf played.
But this year, that number has jumped by over ten thousand...
With over eighty-nine thousand rounds played. That's a sixteen-point-three percent increase, in just one year.
"I think there's more than there used to be, for sure," said golfer Mike Simon.
People are flocking to the Wichita public golf courses in full swing this year.
"Early in the morning and early in the Spring there was a lot of golfers out," said golfer Carl Turner
The number of golf rounds across the five public courses increased by 16.3 percent...
Even with a one dollar fee hike this year.
The crowded courses have caused a number of golfers to move their game to the middle of the week.
"We don't have to fight the crowds on days like this," Turner said.
"I don't really like playing on the weekends if I can help it just for that reason," Simon said.
Players all have their own theories for the growing numbers at the greens.
"Maybe the economy is getting a little better, people just bored at home, not doing anything." Turner said.
"You see a lot of players, there's a lot more golf on tv, and it inspires people to get out and sweat a little bit," said golfer Greg Mason.
Parks and rec director Doug Kupper says that the weather has been a key factor.
"They're quite hot now, but from the first of January through the end of June we lucked out with great weather, dry conditions so that the golfers could get out and play," Kupper said.
But Kupper also feels that the success can be contributed to the changes that parks and rec implemented as a result of public meetings last year.
He says the courses have stepped up customer service, that the city has taken back control of hiring of the part time staff, and that they've amped up their advertising.
"We've never had as robust of a marketing campaign for the municipal golf courses since the first golf course came into existence back in the twenties," Kupper said.
While the parks and rec department is pleased with the current results, they say that more improvements can still be made.
Like repaying the debt aquired to build auburn hills, and repairing clapp clubhouse.
But they say that most of the money will stay on the course, and go towards enhancements such as fixing sandtraps.

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