The Papago Men\‘s and Women\‘s Golf Associations
Shortly after the announcement that the AGA had been chosen by the City of Phoenix through their RFP process, the Papago Men’s Club (of which 38% are Phoenix residents) submitted a series of questions to the City pertaining to pricing and access. The questions and answers are presented below.
We are currently negotiating a contract with the City of Phoenix. As with any negotiation process, the final contract may vary from what is listed below. The individual items and are still being discussed.
Question #1. PMGA TOURNAMENT ROUND REQUIREMENTS – The PMGA currently conducts 12 regular and 4 senior weekend events at Papago each year, with 4 of the events being 2-day events. As such PMGA requirements for 2008/9 are expected to be a total of 20 days x’s 100 tee times per day with 7-8AM starting times, for a total of 2000 weekend tournament rounds.
Assuming the AGA plan is successful this could grow to 144 slots per event for an annual total 2880 rounds. For a certain percentage of the events the AGA would find it be acceptable to have shared shotguns with other groups, and/or a couple of afternoon starting times or shotguns in shoulder season to accommodate the possible booking of high revenue events.
Answer #1: The City will ensure that the PMGA will receive 12 annual events, including (4) two day events, accommodating up to 144 players, weather permitting (consistent with past practice). The City cannot secure more dates or tee-times for the PMGA than is permitted for the Men’s Clubs at Encanto, Maryvale or Cave Creek Golf Courses.
The City of Phoenix and AGA will continue to support the newly established Senior Events to be scheduled at Papago and the other City 18 holes courses.
1a. The City and AGA will ensure that the PWGA continue to have reasonable access during shoulder and prime-time to up to 72 players for Friday A.M.
Question #2: NON-TOURNAMENT WEEKEND AND HOLIDAY TEE TIME AVAILABILITY – PMGA requests (not just for PMGA members, but for the general Papago playing public) that the CITY negotiate an increase in the number of available Peak Season morning weekend and holiday rounds for residents ("Affinity Card Holders") from the currently proposed 35% (which is only 10.43 spots out of 32 spots per hour) to at least 50%-62.5% or 16-20 spots on non-PMGA tournament weekends and holidays.
Answer #2: The partners have determined to provide more tee time spots for Phoenix card holders than are currently being used (including spots used by the PMGA) last year at Papago Golf Course. The AGA will work with the City to establish a tee sheet that will distribute card holder times equitably.
Below is a side-by-side comparison of actual card holder rounds from 06-07 to the proposed allocation.
2006-07 Papago Rounds
by Phoenix Card Holders
Total 18 hole Rounds
By Phoenix Card Holders
Total number of paid 18 hole rounds (general public and cardholder rounds only)
% of Card Holder
Question #3. PRICING/AGA MANDATORY SUMMER CART PROPOSAL – PMGA requests that the CITY consider negotiating "Affinity" Card Holder and City Resident initial price increases on proposed , Peak Season rates be held to a maximum of $36 from their current rate of $28 (a 28.5% increase rather than the AGA proposed rate of $46.00 to walk, a 64.2% increase) and consider increasing summer rates from $14 to perhaps $18, but eliminating the AGA’s proposal requirement that all players be required to take a golf cart from June through September at a cost of $15 per player.
Answer #3: There will be NO “Affinity Card” for Papago Golf Course. The current Phoenix Golf Card will be restricted to Maricopa County residents for all City of Phoenix Courses and will be accepted at Papago.
There will also be NO golf cart requirement at Papago during any season for daily fee, except outside tournament and shotgun events.
Currently, the City of Phoenix is evaluating its fee structure for Rack Rate and Phoenix Card holders. It is difficult to compare current rates to those that might be charged in 2008 and 2009. The City and AGA will work cooperatively with a mutually acceptable third party to develop and implement a pricing model to be used at the Papago Golf Course. Both parties are committed to keeping the peak season resident rate significantly below a non-resident rack rate during peak seasons. The parties recognize that any fee model or pricing structure must be approved by the City Council.
Question #4: GOLF CART PRICING- PMGA suggests that the CITY and AGA consider a $12 price for golf carts for "Affinity" Card Holders and City Residents.
Answer #4: The City of Phoenix is evaluating its current cart rates at all Phoenix courses and is supportive of $15.00 for new carts at Papago, particularly given the fact that they will not be mandatory.
Question #5: RANGE BALLS/RANGE USAGE BY NON-GOLFERS – PMGA suggests that Range Ball pricing be optional (priced separately at $3.00 for a small bag for Affinity Card Holders) and that earlier proposed AGA rates be adjusted downward to reflect proper pricing without range balls (e.g. $36 becomes $33). Additionally PMGA believes the AGA projections for Range revenues for individuals who use the range, but don’t play a round of golf, are grossly understated, which represents an additional source of revenue. The current AGA proposal calls for the sale of only 7 bags per day outside of those provided with rounds of golf. We feel this estimate may be understated, by as much as, five (5) times possible revenues.
Answer #5: Complementary range balls will not be included with a resident green fee. The AGF will be permitted to provide complementary range balls with a Rack Rate green fee. The AGA and Phoenix agree that a $3.00 range bag/bucket (warm up) must be available for over-the-counter retail.
Question #6: "AFFINITY CARD" – PMGA requests to be provided with, as quickly as possible, a detailed explanation of the pricing, tee time booking policies, and other benefits associated with the undefined "Affinity" Card. Unless there are compelling reasons the PMGA would recommend continuation of a single Phoenix Golf Card. In the event the "Affinity" Card carries significant cost we would request that a limited number of annual guest passes at "Affinity" Rates be included as a standard benefit, and that "Affinity" card holders have the same tee time booking privileges as "out of towners" without being required to pay a premium for advanced bookings.
Answer #6: There will be NO “Affinity Card” for Papago Golf Course. As indicated in #3 above, the current Phoenix Card, administered by the City of Phoenix will be accepted at Papago Golf Course and card holders will be eligible for the same advanced tee time privileges at other Phoenix Courses.
Question #7: DRESS CODE- PMGA requests to be provided with, as quickly as possible, a detailed explanation (preferably with examples) of the Dress Code that the AGA intends to propose for the Course, Clubhouse, and Range.
Answer #7: The Dress Code at Papago will be consistent with that at other Phoenix Golf Courses. Alternative Spikes will be required for all golfers (no metal spikes). Men will be required to wear shirts (collars will not be required) and women will be prohibited from wearing tube/halter tops.
Question #8: FINANCING OF PROPOSED ON-SITE AGA. AWGA. AJGA. USGA AGRONOMIST. MEETING ROOMS/OFFICES AND AGA HALL OF FAME- PMGA would strongly recommend that the CITY consider not burdening the Papago golfing public (many of whom are already dues paying members of the AGA) with the additional Indebtedness (which will equate to a $4-6 per round "fixed" cost) for the proposed 2nd Floor, 5000+ Sq. Ft., $3.5MM building expansion, and instead require the AGA and their affiliates to pay for this mortgage out of their own income or include an "above the line" monthly Rent Expense that will cover all amortization, insurance, utilities and other related expenses for the proposed expansion.
Answer #8: The City of Phoenix and AGA have yet negotiated details for Phase II improvements to the clubhouse, or a rent structure that will, in part, be based on square footage, building function, and access by the general public. In general, the City of Phoenix supports a permanent presence at Papago Golf Course by the State Association, including the Youth and Women’s Associations. The City is very anxious to work with a resident USGA agronomist to improve turf quality and water resource management at all Phoenix Courses. The partners will provide a meeting room for the Men’s and Women’s Club as well as office space for the City of Phoenix in any new clubhouse facility.
Question #9: PROPOSED STARTING TIMES – PMGA would recommend that the CITY and AGA revisit proposed operation starting time since Papago has historically opened anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes earlier than AGA proposed hours of operation, which could serve two purposes, lessen competition for tee times, and generate more gross revenue to better allow for consideration of other negotiable Pricing concessions suggested elsewhere herein.
Answer #9: The partners are evaluating the anticipated maintenance practices to support an improved Papago Golf Course. Daily tee times will begin as soon as possible in conjunction with required routine maintenance.
Question #10 DAYS OF OPERATION – A careful review of the AGA Pro Forma’s shows initial proposed tee time sales/usage at 85% of maximum capacity which seems logical, but it is coupled a formula that only shows the course being open for 317 days (would appear to be a private club type spreadsheet). If one assumes an absolute maximum of a 25-day shutdown for over-seeding and aeration, shouldn’t there be another 28 days of revenue generation in their model (or at least an explanation). We hope this doesn’t represent a shutdown of the course for AGA or other events for which there will be no generation of revenues for the enterprise as a whole. Once again a review of this issue could provide tee time competition, pricing and other cost relief.
Answer #10: The City and AGA estimate 48 total lost golf days annually. 24 days are lost annually to over-seeding, aeration and general maintenance. We are estimating that the equivalent of an additional 24 days (average of 2 days per month) are lost to inclement weather. These days do not represent any AGA tournament or event days. The City of Phoenix will limit AGA events to no more than (3), not to exceed 6 days total from November through April. This will not include JGAA, US Kids Golf, AWGA, USGA, SWPGA, PGA or LPGA events that the City of Phoenix currently supports at Papago and will continue to support and actively pursue. Out of season, the City and AGA will work cooperatively to schedule events and maximize revenues as Phoenix currently does at all its Municipal Courses.
Question #11: AGA PROPOSED REVENUE and OPERATING BUDGET PROPOSALS – For the same reasons previously listed PMGA would respectfully suggest that the CITY should give serious consideration to requesting that the AGA to sharpen their pencil on Operating Costs so as to reduce the proposed per round break even point. Additionally since the AGA proposal shows no gradual ramp-up of revenues (instead they propose 100% sales, including the $100+ per round premium pricing utilizing the 85% usage projection) wouldn’t it be more prudent to ramp-up sales over the first year.
Answer #11: The City recognizes that the AGA’s estimated operating costs may need refinement as we continue to move through negotiations. However, of greater concern to the City of Phoenix would be a proposed operating budget that would not and could not support the operation. The City of Phoenix feels very comfortable with the rack rate for a renovated and restored Papago Golf Course. We strongly believe the $100+ out-of-town rate will mirror street value pricing for comparable courses. We are already working closely with national media outlets, local hotels, the Phoenix Convention Center and the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau on maximizing out-of-area play.
Question #12. USE OF THE PHRASE – "THE PAPAGO CLUB" – PMGA assumes that the CITY still considers the Papago Park Golf Course to be the name of the course, and that in the "eyes" of the CITY the course is and will remain a "muni", albeit a high-end "muni" once planned renovations are complete. Accordingly we feel it would be appropriate for the CITY to instruct the AGA to not refer to the course as The Papago Club in any of its documentation, advertising or even internal discussions.
Answer #12: The “official” name of the course is Papago Golf Course. Any change in the name would require Parks Board approval. There are no plans to change the name of the course. The City of Phoenix feels very strongly that Papago Golf Course remains a vital part of the Municipal Golf system. The partnership with the AGA will ensure that Papago Park remain a “Muni”.