Rincon City Council members are hoping new rates and fees will be just the draw to hook more golfers to the city’s course.
Council members have put into play new rates and fees that are designed to make Lost Plantation Golf Club, the city-owned course, more competitive in a market teeming with options. The city contracted Don Fletcher to survey nearby courses and compare their rates with Lost Plantation’s.
“We wanted to get a little more competitive in the market,” he said. “We needed to look at what our competitors were doing and match them or beat them.”
Fletcher told council members the weekend rate was higher than the area average and was not competitive with other courses.
Under the new fees, golfers will pay $32 for 18 holes and a cart before noon on weekdays and $26 for a cart and 18 holes after noon on weekdays. Weekend cart and greens fees are the same, except that the afternoon rate begins at 2 p.m. The morning nine-hole and cart fee is $18 and the afternoon weekday rate for a cart and nine holes of play is $16.
Fletcher said the course’s Tuesday specials — 18 holes and a cart anytime for $25 or nine holes and a cart anytime for $15 — have been popular.
“We’ve been fighting the bad weather,” he said. “A lot of the bad weather has been on Tuesdays and Sundays, which are popular days to play.”
“A tee time in the golf industry is your inventory,” he said. “Once your tee time is gone, it’s gone, and we’re losing our ability to recoup that. The cost of doing business doesn’t change.”
Among the new rates approved were free golf to kids 10 years old and younger who are playing with a parent. Kids 11-16 years old pay a half-price rate, if accompanied by a playing parent.
“The industry is really reaching out to young kids, and I think that’s important,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher said the course also is reaching out to touring groups that play a circuit of courses in the Coastal Empire and South Carolina Lowcountry.
The course also will put into place a “replay” rate, allowing golfers to play an extra nine holes with a cart for $10.
“One item we’re going to start pushing is our replay rate,” Fletcher said.
Other specials adopted for the course include a 10 percent discount for military personnel, senior citizen and corporate players who show proper ID. The city also adopted an afternoon weekday rate of $23 for employees from Gulfstream, Georgia-Pacific, EFACEC, JCB and the school system.
“These rates I think will make us highly competitive,” Fletcher said. “If you do this, you’re going to be as competitive as there in the market.”
City Manager Wesley Corbitt said revenue for the golf course was up this March over March of last year.
“We have had two really good tournaments and have had in excess of 100 players,” Corbitt said.