A round of golf is about to cost a bit more. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, residents will pay $49 to play a prime time round at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
Currently players pay $43, meaning the change will be a 14% increase; although the fee has not increased since 2019. Nonresidents will pay $59 per round, a 20% increase from $49. Rates remain lower on weekdays.
The increase will cover growing operational costs and plans for an anticipated redesign and replacement of the course’s irrigation system. Over the last two decades, personnel costs have increased by 3% annually, with water costs increasing 10% each year.
“What you have is exceptionally unique,” said Neelay Bhatt, founder and CEO of Next Practice Partners, a consulting firm that helped Coronado plan its rate changes. “The public courses you have here are on par with the best I’ve seen at Disney, and that’s saying something.”
The Coronado City Council approved the rate increases at its Nov. 8 meeting.
Councilmember Casey Tanaka, who serves on the Golf Course Advisory Committee, said the increase straddles the line between the need for more funding to cover operational expenses without inundating golfers with steep fee increases.
Along with that thinking, the plan allots for gradual increases each year.
“The goal is to ensure there is a more gradual and consistent increase, rather than a significantly larger lump sum (increase) once every 5 to 7 years,” Bhatt said.
The Coronado Municipal Golf Course sits on 120 acres, 83% of which are state tidelands that are managed under a trust by the Port of San Diego. The port leases the land to the city, which oversees the course’s maintenance, along with the vendors Feast and Fareway and the Brian Smock Golf pro shop.
A major change includes granting residents a seven-day window to reserve tee times, which will also launch on Jan. 1.
“One of the biggest issues that I’ve heard from the community regarding the golf course,” Councilmember John Duncan said, “wasn’t our rates, because the rates are still an extreme value, even after we’ve had these increases. But instead, it’s the access to the course for the residents.”
Nonresident weekday and prime time together equal about 40% of golf course usage, while resident weekday and prime time equals about 15%, Duncan said.
Tournament fees will also increase: on weekends and holidays, a round will increase from $59 to $85. On weekdays, the fees will increase from $44 to $80.
The plan also reduces youth golf course rates.
“If you want to play somewhere else at a lower rate while maintaining the same quality of experience,” Mayor Richard Bailey said, “you’re probably going to be really hard pressed to find somewhere else that can match that.”