Clear Creek upping fees to become self-supporting’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

Some golfers at Clear Creek Golf Course will have to pay more to hit the links next year under the latest fee increase for the public course.

Memberships, which allow golfers to play unlimited rounds throughout the year, will rise $100 under the plan. Seniors will see memberships rise to $500 per year, while other members will have their fee raised to $600 per year.

Discounted memberships that include a $3 charge per 18 holes, or $1.50 for nine holes, will also increase. Seniors will pay $375 for that plan, while other members will pay $425.

Green fees for individual rounds will remain the same, $8 for nine holes and $13 for 18 holes. Fees for 18 holes on weekends and holidays will also remain the same, at $15.

“After about 30 rounds, it pays for itself. Where can you beat that? Where else can you play unlimited golf? We’re open 362 days a year,” Clear Creek pro Randy Tupper said. “There’s facilities that would cost you three times that and that aren’t as player-friendly.”

Tupper said the Warren County Parks and Recreation Commission has directed Tupper to make Clear Creek self-supporting. With increased maintenance and insurance costs, a fee increase was necessary to raise more revenue. Even with the increase, Tupper said he still expects to lose money, like CC has six of his eight years.

“We’ve made tremendous strides, and that’s what (golfers) wanted. But it takes money, and I don’t think if you ask anyone who plays here they’d want to go back to what it was like eight years ago,” he said.

Also changing for 2001 are the rates for cart rentals. In the past, players were charged per cart. Now, they will be charged per rider $4.50 and $9 for nine and 18 holes, respectively. The rates for senior members will be $4 and $8.

Tupper hopes the changes, which make it cheaper for singles to ride, would increase cart rentals.

“What we’re hoping is we’ll see an increase in cart traffic. Our problem is our course is very walker-friendly. Only about 30 percent of our rounds are played with carts,” Tupper said. “We would not make a rate increase just to make a rate increase. It’s a necessity. Hopefully the carts will bring in enough revenue to where this isn’t recommended next year.”

A fee increase last year drew protests from seniors, who felt they were being singled out with an increase that was higher for them than for other members. Tupper said he’s only heard of a few complaints this year, however, and none have come directly to him.

“My staff has heard from a few,” Tupper said. “Anytime you make an increase, you’re going to meet some resistance. But it’s a minority.”