Open Letter to WGC 2017 Members:
As the 2017 golf season winds down, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support and loyalty to the Winnetka Golf Club (WGC), a facility of the Winnetka Park District (WPD).
WPD continues to highly regard and value the Winnetka Golf Club as both a community asset, and one of our vital enterprise fund/special revenue facilities. The community value of the golf course comes from the unique and irreplaceable natural setting and open space. In addition, the WGC property is in a designated flood plain serving as part of the Village of Winnetka’s storm water relief management system, which can make course conditions difficult to maintain.
From a financial standpoint, the historical and current philosophical approach to the WGC is intended to operate as an “enterprise fund” (financially self-sufficient with user fees as opposed to taxpayer funds). However the facts are that from (2010-2013) the District’s general (taxpayer based funds) subsidized the operations of WGC in excess of $1 Million.
In conjunction with a consultant study in 2012, a conscious decision was made in 2014 by the Park Board and Executive Director to implement a management change designed to improve the financial stability of the WGC. The transition was directed for the WGC to move toward accountability for operating financially within the enterprise fund philosophy. Since that time, the WPD proudly reports, that WGC has annually operated at a much more fiscally stable position consistent with the enterprise fund philosophy.
Largely in recognition and support of the financial turn-around, the Park District Board has made a significant commitment toward capital improvements from the general funds since 2014 though our current fiscal year. This including but not limited to; halfway house, bar improvements, golf service center renovation and aging equipment and vehicle replacements.
The WPD administration and WGC management staff have been keenly aware of some challenges faced this past season, both within and seemingly outside staff control. Nonetheless, we continue to have a strong commitment to operational adjustments and improvements to expected levels of service.
In summary, the three main areas of concern expressed this past season were:
- Inconsistent Course Conditions
- Customer Service
WGC staff has spent a significant amount of time discussing these issues, and request feedback by way of the 2017 Winnetka Golf Club Membership Survey.
In summary, the WPD and WGC management staff is fully committed to an improved golf experience for all of our season membership pass holders, who we recognize as typically long term loyal customers as well as a large portion of our golf course revenue, approximately 20%.
If you wish to provide more specific feedback or communication please do not hesitate to contact any one of us, as we would welcome your comments.
WPD Executive Director
WGC Course Superintendent