New Prague Golf Club teetering on the brink

  • Article by: DAVID PETERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 26, 2010 - 4:48 PM

The city-owned New Prague Golf Club, rated as one of the best courses in the area, is reeling financially as the industry slumps. Can it stay open?

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miracleman1Oct. 27, 10 8:04 AM

You couldn't get a membership and the town was divided between the "Snooty" people who belonged and the nice people who didn't belong. The arrogance was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Time to sell that smell and privatize the club. Were sick and tired of supplimenting that old relic with our tax dollars.

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familyguy01Oct. 27, 10 9:18 AM

All full-time city employees are unionized. Therefore the Club managers pay is dictated by "other" union course salary. Course income is irrelavent. We have a club manager in my hometown with a 9 hole course making $55,000 a year plus bennies. Not bad for a 9 month job.

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bulldog5110Oct. 27, 1010:51 AM

I am not a golfer, but from what I've heard from some friends who golf at NPGC is that the Golf Board has caused some major issues there this year (and previous years). And the City Council has handled things poorly as well. They are looking for someone to blame for why the course isn't a cash cow any longer, and their scapegoat has become the General Manager. In reality, there are MANY issues facing this golf course and others like it - tough economy, housing crisis, etc. To try and pinpoint one specific reason why this course is not doing very well financially is ridiculous. I understand The City has to make some tough decisions regarding how tax payer dollars are spent, however, it's time they start taking some responsibility for missteps they've made along the way to contribute to the negative situation they're in now. This is a textbook case of small town politics failing the tax payers...it's time that the elected officials have some accountability in this matter instead of just trying to blame management.

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movingalongOct. 27, 1011:51 AM

I would like to comment on bulldog5110's comments. I think that his observations concerning the City and its lack of leadership are valid points. From what I have heard, up until the last 4 months, the City's seat on the board has been absent over 60% of the time. That being said, if it was a big issue why did the leadership from the City not make sure that someone was there at every meeting?? If it is truly a priority it would sure be nice to see a city council representative at all of the meetings. Concerning his comments on the scapegoat theory I would like to point out the financial statement over the last 5 years. When membership drops by 75% over 5 years and every year they come up with a larger shortfall of income something has to change. In most cases anywhere in the Business World, changes start on top. This is not a personal issue, it is a personnel issue.

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smngolferguyOct. 27, 10 4:30 PM

I live in Scott County and choose not to play New Prague GC because I was treated poorly by the GM on numerous occasions. I will play Creeks Bend GC or travel down to Montgomery GC, because they treat me right! I agree with "movingalong" it IS a personnel problem.

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ihatebradtoOct. 27, 10 5:00 PM

I have played npgc a couple of times and played several of the near by courses,nice golf courses but just like the city owned course by my house in woodbury,they still feel the way to make it through the lean times is to raise their rates or not offer any fall or reduced rates which pushes us golfers to other courses.I know of a beautiful course I play with cart for $25.00 anytime. I have asked my town couse for dicounted rates for a family outing @18 golfers and was told no!! sorry had to move on. Just a disgrunteld muni golfer

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akornOct. 27, 10 7:26 PM

...build a new clubhouse on credit? They'd be doing fine if they didn't have that debt, if I understood this story correctly.

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bikernrunnerOct. 27, 1011:07 PM

I've never understood why this is supposed to be such a great course. The holes are jammed into a very small space. Yet I remember it being full and just down the road in Montgomery you didn't need a tee time to get on a beautiful and much more spacious course. There's no doubt too many courses were built in the nineties and there needs to be a shakeout. Although I would like to see a mature course like this stick around. It's not a bad course, it's just no way near as great as they claim it is.

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joeeeeeeOct. 28, 10 6:35 AM

but when membership slid the obvious thing that came to mind was the worn out conditions of the clubhouse. Renovation was needed and done.

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reader2580Oct. 28, 1010:13 AM

$55,000 is not that outrageous for a golf course manager. It is basically the same as running a small business.

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