FORT LEE, Va. – The Army has approved a request from the Fort Lee family and MWR to open the Cardinal Golf Course to the public.
Providing details, Tom Green, head of business operations and community recreation for the management, said customer expansion is key to maintaining profitability and sustainability.
“Over the past few years, our annual membership has grown from an average of 650 to around 450,” he said. “Conversely, operating costs continue to rise.
A great example of retardation being fertilizer, which is a petroleum-based product. Labor costs are rising amid efforts to reach the $15 minimum wage. The replacement of 90 worn-out golf carts last year cost $406,000. The list continues.
“The average annual cost to run the course holistically is around $1 million,” Green said. “We’ve floated at or just below break-even for the past 10 years, so it was almost inevitable for us to move in that direction as a Class C facility must be self-financing. Ideally, we hope to achieve an 8% higher net goal…which means approximately $80,000 in profit, which can not only be used for Cardinal upgrades, but also spread across the Fort Lee FMWR business.
Cardinal has been in operation since 1947. The original 18 holes are a “masterpiece of traditional mid-century design,” reads a promotional flyer that will be distributed to surrounding communities over the next few weeks. Nine additional holes were added in 2002.
“I believe there are somewhere around 32 military-operated golf courses in the United States, and we were among only five not open to the public,” Green explained. “One of the conditions for obtaining this approval is the approval of surrounding community leaders, which has been met with hesitation in the past as it would compete with nearby courses such as Rivers Bend, Jordan Point and Prince George. These have since closed, leaving only Dogwood Trace (in Petersburg) and Fort Lee in this area.
Make public access to Cardinal much more desirable for local community leaders who can now promote it as a “shared municipal product”.
“It always feels good to be able to give something back to the communities that support us in so many other ways throughout the year,” Green acknowledged. “It creates a beautiful partnership and builds on the perception that we are part of the community rather than a fenced off area where no one is welcome.”
Green acknowledged the fact that not everyone will be happy with the public access decision – especially those who view the low density of course players here as more exclusive and personal, or a right to military service. This train of thought, however, is at odds with sustainability, as discussed earlier. Without sufficient revenue to pay for maintenance of the grounds and facilities, conditions at Cardinal would diminish, followed by a loss of opportunity to play there.
“We want Cardinal members to recognize positive outcomes such as opportunities for previously unauthorized friends and family members to play, chances to meet other players who love the sport, and the potential for more tournaments. , for example,” Green said. “We think it will also create excitement as the number of people interested in golf is down.”
Building on that last comment, he confirmed that Cardinal offers both individual and group lessons. Its popular summer offerings include a “Nine and Wine” program that lets attendees socialize and play, even if they’ve never picked a club before. Every Wednesday through September 21, evening “Hump Day Scramble” events are scheduled in which singles and duos are blind-matched into four-person teams who compete for prizes.
“Cardinal offers special membership rates for tournaments and other events, so that’s another important perk to keep in mind,” Green added. “As for the cost of annual membership, it is set at $900 per person or $1,450 for families, which includes everyone living in the same household under the age of 23. Both packages are unlimited play, so the average cost can be quite low if they’re on the course 50 or 60 times throughout the year.
He noted that a price increase would take effect on October 1, again to deal with rising course maintenance costs. Membership fees do not include golf cart rental, tournament fees or food and beverages.
Residents of nearby communities interested in Cardinal membership should familiarize themselves with the facility access requirements detailed at home.army.mil/lee/index.php/about/visitor-information. An FMWR representative at 804-734-2899 can also explain the process
First-time visitors must complete a background check (verification) at the Visitor Control Center, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A visitor’s pass valid for one year is authorized for Cardinal members not affiliated with the DOD. A pre-verification form that can be emailed to the VCC is also available on the facility access site.
All visiting Cardinal Golf Club members must follow the Code of Conduct rules provided in a downloadable document at lee.armymwr.com/programs/cardinal-golf-club. Visitors are not permitted to shop at the Commissary or perform postal exchanges or purchase fuel at the Exchange Gas Station. On-post catering facilities are open to all visitors.
The Cardinal Golf Club is located in building 11810 on Avenue A. The facility includes a full range of drills, a fully stocked pro shop and a quick service restaurant. Additional information is available at 804-734-2892.
|Date posted:||13.05.2022 09:42|
|Location:||FORT LEE, Virginia, USA|
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