Loading articles...

Winter pitch and putt in Vancouver could be free

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Free pitch and putt anyone? It’s what the Vancouver Park Board is considering for the winter months at its three pitch and putt courses.

According to a report compiled for the park board, the courses lose about $200,000 a year.

Park Board Commissioner Aaron Jasper admits not many people pitch and putt in the winter.

“Between November of 2012 and February of 2013, there were 84 days in which no green fees were purchased. But during those 84 days, we had staff sitting at the huts, waiting for customers that didn’t show up,” explains Jasper.

The solution? Remove the staff, and make the pitch and putt free for the slow months.

The issue is up for discussion at Monday’s park board meeting.

“We would open the courses up for people who would bring their own equipment, their own balls, to save us the staffing costs. Obviously, we wanted to be respectful of our staff. The staff we have at the courses would be shifted to other work during this period,” says Jasper.

Even during the summer months, usage at the course at Stanley, Queen Elizabeth and Rupert parks hovers in the 50 per cent range.

The links at Rupert Park in East Vancouver are the least used, but the board hopes that will change with a new program designed to get kids interested in golfing.

Thanks to a partnership with the YMCA, Rupert will be home to the First Tee program. The Y will contribute $80,000 to upgrade the course and renovate the old pro shop.