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No one should be naive enough to think that the recent golf management changes in Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City and other locations in Utah were primarily concerning golf professional/manager compensation. This was merely the vehicle to change who controls golf in Utah. In our opinion, Salt Lake City actually chose the least cost-effective scenario presented to it at the time of its restructuring.

There is a consistent policy of obscuring, avoiding and understating the additional budget costs associated with restructuring. True net costs to the golfer are carefully avoided. Significant revenue decreases in comparison with previous management systems and alternate systems are ignored. During this time, individual course professionals have been the scapegoats.Utah unquestionably has the best public golf facilities for the cost in the nation. Our facilities are unique in the consistently good facility conditions, low greens fee costs and accessibility. Yet we have government employees telling us we need to change our management structure. What these changes do, really, is further remove the decisionmaking from trained managers and even more so from fee-paying customers.

The process has now moved to Davis County. Golfers who have played these facilities regularly would be surprised to hear that the Davis County golf facilities are mismanaged. Especially in that they are among the nation's best public facilities, have lower rates than Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County and have million-dollar surpluses in their golf accounts. Whatever they're doing wrong, we need more of.

Some public administrators would have you believe that golf professionals are making windfall profits at the expense of the taxpayer. Not one golf professional entered the golf business because they were going to get wealthy. They became golf professionals because they have a deep abiding love and respect for the game of golf.

Few have noticed that a philosophical change in the operation of golf courses has just occurred. Courses will no longer be operated with the prime motivation of offering the best possible golf experience for the lowest possible rate but will be operated as profit centers to enhance the overall budget of government.

Jeff Beaudry

Executive director

Utah Section PGA