Rick James of Waukesha watches
his shot from the bunker on hole No. 9 Friday morning with
Holy Hill behind him at the Washington County Golf Course in
Hartford. James said he plays the course with his friends
three-or-four times a year.
John Ehlke/Daily News
Golf has been
a good business for Washington County, as the municipal course
in Hartford is posting all-time highs in the number of rounds
Parks Administrator Jay Shambeau told members of the county’s
Executive Committee Monday morning that April, May, July, August and
September were record months and October looks to be following suit.
golf has been up and Craig and his staff have done a good job of
retaining customers,” Shambeau said of Craig Czerniejewski,
clubhouse manager and PGA pro at the course at 6439 Clover Road,
the county’s course has also gotten some name recognition thanks to
its proximity to Erin Hills, the golf course that will host the U.S.
Open in 2017.
shared statistics with the committee which showed the breakdown of
the number of residents versus non-residents playing on the county
In 2012, 72.2
percent of golfers on the county links were county residents, with
26.1 from out of the county for a total of 23,108 rounds played. An
additional 1.7 percent reflects package rounds of golf in which
residency is not tracked, Czerniejewski said.
For a fee,
non-residents of Washington County can purchase a card that allows
them to golf for the same amount charged to residents, which has
become increasingly popular, Czerniejewski said, with 22 sold in
2012, 40 in 2013, 61 in 2014 and 65 so far this year.
Of the 23,776
rounds of golf played in 2013, 70.7 percent were from county
residents and 23.5 percent from visitors. An addition 3.7 percent
was attributed to practice and 2.1 percent were package rounds.
The number of
total rounds continued to increase in 2014, Czerniejewski said, with
a total of 25,569 rounds played. The breakdown between residents and
non-residents continues to show an overwhelming majority of golfers
reside in the county, remaining about an constant 70-30 split with
nonresidents, Czerniejewski said. He said 25,587 rounds have been
played in 2015.
Mother Nature lets us have a few more weeks of golfing as we will
remain open until we have several days of a hard freeze,”
Czerniejewski told the Daily News. “For the last couple of years, we
have been open until Thanksgiving.”
said for budgeting purposes, the course plans on being open from
April 1 through October.
“If the weather
is nice and we can open in March or if it stays nice and we can stay
open until at least mid-November, that’s a bonus for our budget,”
The year 2016
will be a banner year for the course, Shambeau said, as its last
remaining loan will be paid off in March, making it debt-free.
that means annual revenue will be about $400,000 more than operating
expenses and that capital expenditures for the course will be
self-funded at about $200,000 a year.
and receiving $500,000 in 2014 as part of the DuPont Imprelis
herbicide lawsuit settlement puts the course in a strong financial
position, Shambeau said.
Washington County purchased land to develop into a golf course,
which opened in 1997, Shambeau said.
The course was
recently featured by
www.golfadvisor.com as one of the top 10 public courses in
the country, coming in at No. 9.
Reach reporter Linda McAlpine at