COMANCHE, OK (KSWO) - The City of Comanche Golf Course is under new management, and changes are in store. The City owns the course, but in the past has leased out the operation. The past managers requested to terminate their lease in May after six years, and the city council agreed to allow the city to take it on.
The city is doing a lot of work in a small amount of time. The clubhouse has been gutted and it's getting fresh paint and flooring. The brush is also getting cleared away ahead of a tournament this Saturday. The city is hoping these changes will grow golf in Comanche.
The Comanche Golf Course remains untouched still manicured and ready for a round of golf. But city employees are giving the other amenities some much-needed TLC.
"The clubhouse, if you've played out here is very dilapidated. It's warn," Comanche City Manager Chuck Ralls. "So immediately we started renovation. We're gutting the inside and just kinda sprucing things up. Make it more inviting, make it more comfortable."
Ralls said he considered finding someone else to lease it to, but the council thought it would be better to manager the greens themselves.
"Golf courses are difficult to manage. There is a lot with landscaping and just general operations of the business," Ralls said. "There were some concerns with the financial. Are we going to afford to operate this, is it going to be profitable?"
Ralls said after researching and asking other city's with golf courses the city needs to increase their games by 83 games per month to maintain the course. He also said they will create three new positions, one to maintain the lawns and two others to work at the clubhouse. He is hoping memberships will help offset any additional costs.
Ralls said he wants to transform the course to attract a new generation of golfers.
"We've got a lot of great members out here now, but they are seniors and unfortunately we've lost several over the past year," Ralls said. "With that membership declining, we need to look at ways that we can continue to get the next generation, kids and teenagers, involved in golf."
One of the plans in the works is to build a new clubhouse, but they are still in a design phase. But first they want to clean up and get new members on the greens.
"We want it to be inviting from the road. We want people to feel comfortable playing here, and bring their kids and their wives out here. Just changing the environment overall," Ralls said.
The city is offering free play all this week while they renovate, but regular rates will start on Saturday.