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Courses at Watters Creek proposes new pricing structure ahead of reopening
As The Courses at Watters Creek, the golf facility formerly known as Chase Oaks Golf Club, prepares its newly renovated courses for players, representatives are working just as hard on the complex's fee pricing ahead of the November reopening.
Allen Parks and Recreation Director Tim Dentler, joined by Golf Services Manager for The Courses at Watters Creek Jeff Holt and Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Lori Smeby, presented the currently proposed plan to the Allen City Council at the council's workshop on Sept. 11.
Under the proposed fee structure, The Courses at Watters Creek is seeking approval to set a predetermined market range for all fees, so that the current fees may be raised or lowered to any amount within that range without further approval.
As Dentler explained at the council workshop, setting ranges is the best way to make sure The Courses's prices remain competitive.
"The reason that we started doing ranges, not only for golf, but for a lot of other activities, was that it gives us the ability to adjust to market," Dentler said. "We don't want to overprice our services, but we want to stay consistent with the market."
For the Traditions 18-hole course, formerly known as the Blackjack course, the proposed green fee for Monday through Thursday "prime" time is the same as the current fee, $39 for summer and $35 for winter, with a future market range of $35 -$50. For Friday prime time, the proposed green fee is $46 for summer and $42 for winter, with a market range of $40-55. For Saturday and Sunday prime time, the proposed green fee is $53 for summer and $49 for winter, with a market range of $45-$70. For seniors age 55 and older and juniors under age 16 Monday through Friday, the proposed green fee is $29 for summer and $25 for winter, with a market range of $25-35. For seniors and juniors on Saturday and Sunday, the proposed fee will be $39 for summer and $35 for winter, with a market range of $35-$45.
For the Players 9-hole course, which was previously known as the Sawtooth course, a $20 Monday through Friday fee is proposed, with a market range of $15-$25, and a $25 fee Saturday and Sunday, with a market range of $20-$35. For seniors and juniors, the green fees Monday through Friday are a proposed $17, with a market range of $15-$25, and a proposed $22 Saturday and Sunday, with a market range of $20-$30. These prices are for 18 holes of play, which will remain unchanged from their previous rates. All fees will be reduced by $5 for players choosing to play 9 holes only.
"I suspect we will see a lot of nine-hole play, because most of the people that play nine holes are going to be those who want to go out there and play a two-hour round," Dentler said.
A brand new addition to The Courses is the Futures 6 Course, which Holt describes as a six-hole par three course, varying in length from 40 to 80 yards per hole.
"That's really going to be an exciting six-hole speed golf, practice golf and short game course," Holt said. "I think it will be used a lot, especially from our school teams."
The proposed green fee for the Futures 6 course will be $5, with a market range of $5-$15. Juniors age 12 and under will be able to play the course free with a paying adult after noon.
Cart fees for Monday through Friday will remain at $7 Monday through Friday and $12 Saturday and Sunday. The cart fee will be deducted from the player's green fee if they elect to walk the course.
For the driving range, a small bucket of balls will be a proposed fee of $4, with a market range of $3-$4, a medium bucket will be $7, with a market range of $6-$9, and a large bucket will be $10, with a market range of $9-$12.
"The value you're getting for that bucket of balls is a lot more than just the driving range," Dentler said. "You're getting access to the chip and putt course, access to the practice green, and you have a lot nicer facility than you had before."
The facility's driving range value card, which buys 20 buckets of driving range balls, will be a proposed $100 for 20 medium buckets, with a market range of $90-$125, and $150 for 20 large buckets, with a market range of $135-$165.
The proposed fee structure will replace the current membership program with a loyalty card and punch card system, which will offer similar benefits.
"We feel like in order for us to meet our financial goal with this golf course, eliminating the membership is the right thing to do," Dentler said. "So what we wanted to do is instead of completely taking away the membership, we wanted to come up with some other options that would still allow people to get discounted rates."
Loyalty cards, which will be a proposed $69 annually with a market range of $69-$89, will give players a 10 percent discount on green and cart fees, range balls and merchandise. Punch cards will allow players to purchase multiple rounds of golf in advance for use on Monday through Thursday. For the general public, a 10-round punch card will be a proposed $350. For seniors age 55 and older, a 15-round punch card will be a proposed $375. For juniors age 16 and under, a 15-round punch card will be $150.
"Players will have the opportunity to value out in terms of the amount of golf they want to play and what works best for them," Smeby said. "It could be that the loyalty card makes the most sense or buying multiple punch cards. It's giving them options."
For golf tournaments held at The Courses at Watters Creek, fees will vary, depending on the specific event. The proposed fee range will be $35-$65 for events held Monday through Thursday, Friday events will be $45-$75, and events held on Saturday and Sunday will cost within a proposed range of $50-$80. For Allen Civic and non-profit tournaments, which will be held on Mondays only, the tournament fees will range from $35-$45.
Allen residents will receive a 15 percent discount on green fees under the proposed fee plan, with one guest allowed per resident. City of Allen employees will be charged a proposed $25 per round in green fees, also with one guest allowed per employee.
The proposed fee plan will be submitted for approval at a future Allen city council meeting, which Dentler anticipates will occur during the month of October. Phase I of The Courses at Watters Creek, which includes the Traditions and Futures courses, will open in November. Phase II of the facility, which includes the Players course, is expected to open in the fall of 2013.