Tuesday night, Rochester Park and Recreation Council took an initial look at the plan and results from the community survey.
The park’s board approved the plan by a vote of 4 to 1.
Most golfers at Soldiers Field Golf Courses said they don’t have a problem with the city raising its prices for golf, they don’t want to make any changes to the courses.
“For us golfers, fewer golfers will reduce the amount of money the golf courses make,” said golfer Dave Rodenwald.
Rodenwald said he plays golf almost every day of the week, especially at Hadley Creek Golf Course in Rochester.
“For me, no problem. But for someone who only goes twice a week, it would be very steep,” he said.
The proposed price increases approved by the park’s board of directors Tuesday night include a fee increase over the next two years as the regular season ticket goes from the current price of $795 to about $1,300 in 2027.
Daily rates will also increase from $32 to just over $37 by 2027.
“I probably play 120 rounds a year,” said golfer Mike Teruisha. “Yeah, I get my money’s worth and do my practice.”
Terwisscha used to live in the Twin Cities and said season tickets there are expensive. According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the value of a 2022 season ticket is about $1,300. This is similar to what Rochester is now recommending.
But the potential sticking point is the $250,000 in tax money the city wants to use to keep the courses on top of the $250,000 in revenue from the previously mentioned increased golf fees.
“I think the city should be willing to put a little extra money into golf courses,” Rodenwald said.
A survey of 400 random households in Rochester was recently completed. These results show that 70 percent of people support raising taxes to maintain city services. Fifty-one percent of people said they would prefer raising taxes to improve or enhance city services, with 37 percent opposing it.
“A small increase to help cover certain things wouldn’t hurt,” Terwisscha said.
Although the park’s board of directors has approved this plan, the Rochester City Council has yet to give final approval.
As part of this plan, the Park Board has also agreed to suspend the annual special early bird show beginning January 1, 2023, allowing golfers to purchase an annual pass for the next golf season at the current season’s price.