City weighing golf course viability
A golf subcommittee of the Madison Board of Parks Commissioners met August 8 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens to discuss the future of the Madison’s golf courses. According to the 2016 Golf Madison Parks annual report released July 18, expenses for the four courses — Odana Hills, Yahara Hills, Glenway, and Monona — “increased 16% to $3.6M in 2016 while corresponding revenues totaled only $3.21M for a net loss of $393K.” The big drain on the system is Yahara Hills.
Alternatives being floated include closing the 94-acre Monona Golf Course, selling a portion of the property along Monona Drive for residential development, and retaining the remainder for parkland. “Considering the location of the property, it is possible that a portion of the property could be of particular value in promoting infill density along transportation corridors,” the report reads, “which builds stronger property tax base for the City of Madison.” The Monona course operates at nearly break even, but has seen losses each of the last two years. Selling it would help pay for improvements at Yahara Hills.
While the 36-hole Yahara Hills golf course is not profitable, the report states, closing the property entirely would “significantly impact the Madison area public golf marketplace.” If that were to happen, Madison Parks would reportedly seek input from the community as to how best to use the 500-acre recreational property.
The city’s four courses, which are supposed to sustain themselves, do not receive tax dollars.
A PDF version of the full report can be downloaded here.