SLO County golf course running a $500,000 deficit

May 18, 2016

Dairy Creek Golf CourseThe recent drought coupled with state prison realignment is causing the Dairy Creek Golf Course at El Chorro Regional Park to turn brown. But, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is planning on injecting cash into the course operation to satisfy golfers. [Tribune]

Dairy Creek, which is located on Highway 1 across the street from Cuesta College, relies on recycled water from the nearby California Men’s Colony. As a result of prison realignment, the inmate population at the Men’s Colony has decreased from 7,000 to 4,000.

With fewer inmates housed at the prison, Dairy Creek is currently operating with 45 percent of the water needed to provide desirable conditions for golfers. The course has an annual shortfall of 142 acre-feet of water, and golfers are complaining about the grass turning brown.

The Dairy Creek budget currently contains a deficit of more than $500,000. Golf rounds have decreased by 29 percent and revenue has fallen by 39 percent.

On Tuesday, the board of supervisors directed county parks staff to explore ways to continue operating the course. The supervisors said they are willing to invest as much as $485,000 from the county general fund to keep the course open.

Supervisor Bruce Gibson said golf teaches a set of values and offers an athletic opportunity.

County officials are considering installing a water storage pond, which would would cost about $1.2 million. The course already has three ponds which are used to store rainwater.

Officials are also considering purchasing as much as 100 acre-feet of water from Whale Rock Reservoir .

The county owns a total of three golf courses. The other two are Morro Bay Golf Course and Chalk Mountain Golf Course in Atascadero. The three courses have a combined annual operating cost of $2.7 million.

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Golf as a ‘sport’ is a joke! A very small portion of the population wants to participate. There is no way that a fair society would allocate money to a rich person’s subsidized drinking course. Water waste makes closure a no-brainer. Let the lawyers and judges cut deals at the bar and skip the pretense, or go play at a private course (whose water has been shut off) at their OWN expense.

Sell the property to Cal Poly in order for them to sustain their AG program

Don’t know if anyone heard Debbie Arnold give a recap this morning about the bonds that are coming due on the County pensions but let me say to every voter out there. Unless the proposed County Sales Tax for roads is 100% dedicated to roads no one should vote for this increase. I am totally against this tax because I think we are opening pandora’s box for the State to reduce State Parks funding (they already suggested this during the recession a few years back) and then we will need to increase the sales tax for that, Airport, golf courses, etc. etc. etc. Look at what some of the other Counties/Cities have imposed on their citizens, 12, 13, 15% total sales tax. There is transportation (bike lanes, walking paths, etc.), ambulance service, fire service. DO NOT OPEN THIS BOX.

If the County closed this 1 golf course, we would probably have almost a million more for roads. If they are using the approved budget plus paying the shortfall of $500,000 and I sure that would be some good road money.

Anyone listen to the BOS meeting and listen to Mr. Gibson give his slick talk to the citizens of Los Osos about the excess Water Conservation Account and he skirted all over that issue and bottom line, there is no money for their Water Conservation Program.


Dump it. Turn it into a bike park for mountain bikes, BMX bikes, and a path surrounding the facility and areas beyond for the casual family riders. Needs no water and minimal maintenance/operating cost.

Biking, specifically Mountain Biking, has surpassed the dollars generated by golfing nationwide. It’s a healthy, family oriented sport and brings the same to our community to spend more dollars.

Plus the local hospitals and medical professions would benefit, like AG Community Hospital benefits from the Oceano dunes… it’s a win-win.

Why should the county subsidize a game that most can’t afford in the first place. Plenty of other courses in the county. They need to shut it down, it’s never paid for itself.

Gibson says “golf offers a set of Values and offer an athletic opportunity” what set of values does golf set, how to waster water?

athletic opportunity’s could be achieved by just walking in your neighborhood and swinging your arms, and it does not cost the county big $$$ and waste water. Funny how many golfers use carts and don’t even walk the course.

If golf gives you values I think Adam Hill needs to take up golf, maybe Bruce Gibson does too.

This Lynx course is supposed to be somewhat feral. Plush greens was not intended at construction. This was a big expense to the County in the beginning and decades later may have to be re-evaluated. Maybe the golfers will need to put on their glasses if the contrast in brown grass makes it difficult to see their balls.

“Supervisor Bruce Gibson said golf teaches a set of values and offers an athletic opportunity.”

LOL! You see the condition of the average golfer? Overweight, riding in a cart and drinking beer.

But then, Gibson never has had a clue what he was talking about anyway.

What would he know about values? What “value” is boinking your subordinate?


Not FORE!, the article says FIVE! hundred thousand in the hole.

That was good!