Amarillo golfers upset by proposed increase in annual passes

Amarillo golfers upset by proposed increase in annual passes

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo golfers who play at city-owned courses could be seeing a spike in daily and annual prices as early as next month.

This year the City of Amarillo will use $2 million from the general fund to subsidize the four city golf courses at Comanche Trails and Ross Rogers golf complexes.

"It's almost the exact same amount of money we would pay for 30 police officers," said City Manager Jared Miller. "So the opportunity cost of what we're doing is significant."

To cut back on what the taxpayers have to pay to keep all four courses running, city staff has proposed slight increases to the daily green fees - just a few dollars more than what golfers pay now.

For the most part those increases have received no complaints.

It's the changes in annual pass fees that avid golfers are not thrilled about.

"For what I have right now I'm paying $930 a year, and that includes unlimited golf," said Jim White, who has golfed at city courses for about 35 years. "If I get the same package I'm on now, it will go up to $3,000."

The annual pass for seniors will triple, too.

When Gary Thornberry, who has played at city golf courses for about 50 years, heard about the proposed increases, he was "shocked."

"[I was] in disbelief they were taking such a big jump at one time," said Thornberry.

"I don't know why they want to go up as much as they do," said White. "Yeah, I still feel like we do need to go up, that's my honest opinion. But I don't think we need to go up all at once."

Many of the golfers out at Ross Rogers on Friday afternoon said they know membership will go down with the higher prices.

But the city does not plan to lower them.

"I think it would be inappropriate to propose a lower cost annual pass because we're not going to move in the right direction for...reducing our subsidy if we're not taking the appropriate steps from a pricing standpoint," said Miller.

These proposed fee changes will be discussed at Tuesday's 1:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation Board meeting and 4 p.m. Amarillo City Council work session.

The proposed city budget that includes these changes is expected to be approved Tuesday evening.

If approved, daily green fee changes would go into effect October 1st, and annual pass fee increases would go into effect January 1st of next year.

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