The Town of Amherst is once again considering privatizing its three public golf courses in hopes of cutting costs and stemming mounting losses.
Amherst officials on Monday agreed to seek proposals from private companies interested in operating and managing the Audubon Golf Course at 500 Maple Road, its companion Par 3 across the street at 475 Maple, and the Oakwood Golf Course at 3575 Tonawanda Creek Road.
Revenues generated by the three courses simply have not kept pace with what it costs Amherst to maintain and operate them, said Councilmember Guy R. Marlette.
Amherst’s Youth & Recreation Department currently operates the golf courses, while workers from the Highway Department maintain the grounds. Amherst wants to keep its rates reasonable – $23 for a round of golf at Audubon and another $10 for a cart – but operations routinely run at a deficit.
Over the past 10 years, the town saw a net loss of more than $2 million – or an average of $202,000 a year – running its three public courses, with losses ranging from $21,500 in 2004 to as much as $375,000 in 2010, according to figures from the town’s Comptroller’s Office.