PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- After watching the number of rounds played at the municipal Riverside Golf Course decline, the city has made some major improvements to get back into the swing of things.
"Golf is in a competitive environment, and if we don't keep up with the times and make the improvements that are necessary, we will lose players who go to other golf courses because they certainly have a lot of other choices," explained City Manager, Mark Rees.
The city brought in experts from the National Golf Foundation to study what was working, and what was not. They recommended the city be more proactive marketing the course, utilize mobile apps and social media technology and make investments in the courses and their amenities.
"We want to bring in new golfers in order to maintain programs here," said Rees, noting that new construction on the 9-hole South Course was critical. "Previously, we had a log cabin with an outdoor restroom, now we have a modern facility that can accommodate the 9-hole golf course."
Other steps they have taken include developing an app that allows you to see available tee times and make a reservation, making upgrades to the bathroom and lockeroom facilities in the clubhouse on the North Course and hiring a PGA professional to oversee the instruction offered to golfers looking to lower their handicap.
Now that most of the clubhouse work is complete, the city says it plans to begin a five year capital plan to make improvements to the courses themselves.