NGF recommends Lincoln, Neb. to turn courses over to management company

As it so often does, the National Golf Foundation has advised a U.S. city to turn over its golf operation to a management company. This time the client is Lincoln, Nebraska, which has five golf properties that have since 2010 been losing money at what the Lincoln Journal Star calls “an alarming rate.”

To shrink the swelling deficit, the NGF believes, Lincoln’s golf division needs to become “more entrepreneurial” and operate “more like a business and less like a public accommodation.” A more business-minded approach, the NGF says, might include privatizing the city’s four 18-hole properties, which generate considerable play and have lots of latent potential, but not its nine-hole, par-3 course, which caters mostly to juniors and will most likely always be a poor financial performer.

Even with the deck so financially stacked, however, and even if the city agrees to invest $3 million into capital improvements, the NGF doesn’t guarantee that a private operator can deliver profits. In fact, a financial projection shows six-digit losses through 2017.

The city will begin to debate the NGF’s recommendations this week.

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