Kitchen Creek selling five-year memberships to finance irrigation system

In order to cut interest payments on the $300,000 borrowed to finance the new fairway irrigation system being installed at Kitchen Creek Golf Course, the club is offering 150 “Gold Card” memberships.
The memberships, which will be made available to current members only on a first-come, first-serve basis for the next two weeks, will offer golfers a five-year membership (1999-2003) for $2,000.
Letters have been sent out to all members, and should be received sometime this week.
After the two weeks expire, any remaining “Gold Cards” then will be made available to the general public. The fee can be paid by cheque, which can be current or post-dated to Oct. 7 of this year.
If 150 people pre-pay $2,000 each in membership fees, for a total of $300,000, this group will save the club having to pay out at least $60,000 in interest payments.
Individually, each “Gold Card” member will save the club $400 in interest payments–and themselves a minimum of $200 in memberships fees over the five years.
Membership chairman Terry Martinson said the real work for the board of directors begins next spring and the following four years as, on paper, the club will have $60,000 less revenue to work with (representing the 150 pre-paid “Gold Card” memberships).
But in reality, he said the revenue shortfall could be as low as $30,000 because the $20,000 NODC loan has been paid off–and future revenues are expected to continue to increase.
In fact, membership fees will increase next season, with early-bird memberships to cost $450 and non early-bird fees rising to $500.
Martinson said the decision to go ahead with a new irrigation system was due to the two-month drought that hit the area–and the course–last year.
“There’s very few courses in Canada without the system, and we had to spend huge amounts [of money] on fertilizer last year,” he noted. “But [putting money into the course] does you no good unless you use water.
“The board was afraid of losing our fairways with another drought,” he added.
Besides installing the irrigation system, the club also is replacing the greens and tee boxes watering system, rebuilding the pump house, and dredging to increase the water supply.
“Gold Card” memberships can be purchased at the pro shop or Mar-Te Sportswear on Scott Street.
The cards are transferable to immediate family members at no charge (one time), and for $50 to anyone else.