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Golf growth on the downswing, course pro tells council

Winter weather also cutting into Chattahoochee revenues

POSTED: February 11, 2008 5:02 a.m.

GAINESVILLE -- Gainesville City Council members discussed the future of the Chattahoochee Golf Course this morning at their regular work session.

Mark Bowen, director of golf for the Chattahoochee Golf Course, told council members that the sport should not grow much in the next five years because golf is on the downswing of what the golf community calls the "Tiger Woods Effect." That describes the peak in golf interest in the 1990s as Woods became the sport's marquee star. That surge in interest has dropped off in recent years.

Because of the phenomenon, Bowen said it should take at least three to five years before council members start seeing increased revenue from the city's investment in the golf course.

The Chattahoochee Golf Course has lost nearly 4,000 rounds of golf already this year, Bowen said. Some of that decline was blamed on harsh winter weather in January. "Winter presents a challenge for golf," said Bowen.

Council members had requested the update on the golf course renovations at a previous council work session.



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