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Madison's public golf course neglect leads to millions in repairs

After years of neglect, the city’s four public golf courses, which haven’t shown back-to-back profits since 2001-02, could require between $34.7 million and $52.5 million in capital needs over the next 20 years, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

The estimates are preliminary and could even be “conservative.”

This is the first city Parks Division assessment of the financial health of the city’s golf enterprises, including Glenway, Odana Hills, Monona, and Yahara Hills —  which were originally designed to be self-sustaining.

Not surprisingly, the 72-hole Yahara Hills Golf Course requires the most investment — between $21 million and $32 million in improvements.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway created a Task Force on Municipal Golf in Madison Parks last year, which is charged with studying the ongoing (and worsening) course financials. A full report is due May 1.

In 2018, the city’s golf enterprises lost $863,320. Numbers have not yet been finalized for 2019, but they are expected to be lower.

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