River region courses up to par thanks to serious golfers

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Tee time reservations aren't slowing down at Montgomery's Lagoon Park golf course.

John Sadie says that's unusual these days.

"The golf course industry has taken a pretty good hit this year. There are some courses that are down 20-50%," says Sadie, Montgomery's Golf Director.

He says the economy and the heat are keeping people from spending time and money on the golf course.

And, as the temperatures go up so do maintenance costs.

But Sadie says Lagoon Park revenues are up from last year.

The same goes for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

"This past July has been the busiest July on record for all RTJ courses," says Mike Evelyth, General Manager at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa.

Perhaps that's thanks to folks like Andy Whitaker and his friends.

"I don't care how hot it is...or how much we sweat," says Whitaker.

For them, Wednesday is golf day no matter what the thermometer says.

"It's hot, stay hydrated, still have just as good a time being hot...just enjoy coming out here," says Danny Forshey.

Directors and golfers alike say the heat doesn't really change how much they play, just what time they take to the green.

"We've encouraged golfers to come early morning or late afternoon," adds Sadie.

Directors say evening play has picked up, and only expect it to increase as fall approaches.

That's good news for an otherwise struggling industry--thankful for those who are hitting the fairways even when money is tight.

"We've decreased the other stuff we did to save the extra money to come out and play," says Forshey.

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