Island Courses Offer Discounts To Attract Golfers
More Deals, Rising Costs Hurt Local Businesses
With the economy still sluggish, many island golf courses said they are being squeezed -- by lower prices to attract more players and rising costs to keep the game going.
Before Brad Simmons grabs his golf clubs, he heads to his computer. "I'll come home from work and get online. Whatever golf course is providing the biggest discount -- that is where I will go," said Simmons, a Honolulu resident.
On Friday, Simmons ended up at Olomana Golf Links -- which is trying to get more golfers to tee things up by offering more deals online. There are discounted rates during the week and even on holidays. "Today, surprisingly, I got a good deal -- so here I am," said Simmons.
"We are running an internet special and we've been running it over the past 3 weeks. We offer different specials for different days. We've been going as low as $25 for a round," said Olomana head pro Ganin Asao.
By saving some green, some golfers said they headed to the greens more often. A number of courses offered discounts of 40-60 percent.
Justin Itoh had no trouble picking up his clubs after picking out a deal. "Let's say there is a sale at the mall -- I'd want to take advantage of that. It's the same thing with golf -- why not take advantage of it, if you can," said Itoh.
While the lower fees were good for golfers, they were hurting a number of golf courses -- where workers said they were also dealing with rising costs. "With the costs of our products going up -- from fuel to fertilizer, electricity and water, it gets tough," said Asao.
Many courses were trying to attract more long-time golfers, like seniors, but the future of some clubs may depend on much younger players. "That might be the next wave -- trying to get more juniors involved with the game of golf. Then we could hopefully get more parents to come out to the golf course," said Asao.
We checked out some of the deals for Oahu golf clubs on golfnow.com and found some as low as $15 for a round.
But the deals may not last. The specials may come to an end over the summer, when golf club employees said business picks up -- making it easier to fill up courses.
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