Vol. 17, No. 15 – April 17 – April 30, 2024 – Mailbox

“How Long?”

Wiliiam Gohlke

Tom Watson, eight-time golf major champion said,  “A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer’s mind.”

The City of Ventura is fortunate to have two such golf courses (Buenaventura and Olivas Links) that not only provide recreation but are revenue generating assets.

Unfortunately, Buenaventura suffered severe damage in 2023 from flooding during the winter rainstorms. At present, it appears to be on track to being repaired as only a nine-hole course. However, nine holes will impact revenue by 75% according to the City’s own Golf Administrative Report dated 2017.

Olivas Links was redesigned by Forrest Richardson and reopened in 2007. It was immediately recognized as one of the “Top Ten Municipal Courses” by Golfweek. The city directed Mr. Richardson to make the course a “destination venue for golfers,” not only county residents, but for non-resident golfers. According to 2022-2023 Parks and Recreation data the course has admirably accomplished this goal with 30% of rounds played by non-residents who pay higher green fees than residents. Unfortunately, Olivas is not able to realize its full revenue potential due to unsightly dilapidated temporary trailers that are 17 years old.

Harry Vardon, a six-time British Open Champion golfer said, “More matches are lost through carelessness at the beginning than any other cause.”

This is certainly true when we become aware of how much money has been expended to rent these trailers. That amount is approximately 3 million dollars according to a reliable source. If a decent clubhouse and cart storage structure had originally been built, both structures would now be paid off and additional revenue generated from food and merchandise sales.

How long before our current Ventura Mayor and City Council members recognize the need to improve this infrastructure? This investment will not only enhance revenue lost to Buenaventura downsizing but will maintain the course as a “destination venue for golfers.” The National Golf Foundation indicates that 26 million people play golf in the United States. Most importantly, our junior golfers and future golfers of tomorrow have expanded by 40%. Golf is growing and Olivas requires first class infrastructure facilities.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email