Fairfield hopes clubhouse upgrades lead to more events, rounds at golf course

The interior renovations for the Fairfield Greens golf clubhouse at its 18-hole South Trace course brings a “fresher appearance” to what once was a “cavernous feeling,” said Parks and Recreation Director Tiphanie Howard.

"It almost feels like now, maybe if there's a palm tree (inside), you'd feel like you're at Pebble Beach (in California)," she said of the course that's hosted six PGA major tournaments, and will host the U.S. Open this year. "Maybe."

The city of Fairfield’s decade-old clubhouse at 2200 John Gray Road needed an interior makeover with new carpeting, lighter paint color on the walls, new LED lights and an added storage space.

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“It’s been 1o years, so these were all planned renovations and enhancements to the facility,” said Fairfield Recreation Superintendent Brad Williams.

Williams said the city continues to invest in golf assets and infrastructure, and in the last decade “we’ve made good investments” in the golf operations with the irrigation system and improvements to the course playing conditions.

In addition to the South Trace course, the city operates a nine-hole North Trace course next to its aquatics center.

The city subsidized the golf and aquatic center operations with $75,000 in 2016 and $50,000 in 2017 as the course averaged 36,000 to 42,000 rounds per year. The city spent $225,000 in subsidies and capital improvements in 2018, which included blacktopping the South Trace parking lot and ash tree removal, but Finance Director Scott Timmer said the operations subsidy has “been pretty flat.”

“Our operations over the years, with investments and technology, we’ve been able to apply efficient and effective practices so that we can keep those costs down,” Williams said. “A (rainy) year like last year could have been a lot worse, but our recently applied practices have minimized that loss.”

Since Howard took over the department in September, she’s worked on a reorganization plan for the department. Those are meant to lead to attracting more golf outing events and non-golf events at the Fairfield Greens clubhouse.

The city hopes to add a hospitality coordinator to attract more events to the clubhouse as well as the city’s other recreation event centers, the Community Arts Center at Village Green Park and the Elisha Morgan Mansion on Ross Road.

“Our focus, long-term, is we’re looking to bring on a hospitality coordinator to promote our event centers,” Howard said. “With this upgrade (at the clubhouse), this new person would be able to market it and bring more in more events, more golf outings, and bring in that revenue that we need to support our operations.”

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