Stillwater News Press

July 31, 2013

Lakeside Golf Course sinks its budget woes

By Nick Woodruff
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Lakeside Golf Course is treating its budget like a golf score; the closer it is to zero the better.

Michael Henderson, Lakeside Golf Course’s general manager, said he doesn’t want the golf course to make or lose money; he wants a balanced budget and at the end of the year its balance needs to be as close to zero as possible, he said.

When Henderson became the manager in July 2010, the golf course was losing $255,655. The next year, Henderson and his staff cut the budget deficit almost in half and at the end of June 2011 the golf course lost $137,582. After 2012, the golf course’s revenue was $15,245 more than its expenses, which put the budget in the black for the first time in years, he said.

One reason Henderson feels the golf course is doing well is because of its success with kids, he said. The golf course has been the South Central Professional Golf Association’s junior leader for the past two years and the district encompasses Arkansas, Oklahoma and Southern Kansas.

“Our facility was picked by other PGA members and our peers,” Henderson said. “This means we had the most involvement but also was giving kids the most opportunity to learn and begin the game of golf.”

Even though the city’s municipal golf course is not considered a high-profile golf course, Henderson believes it is the most important, he said. He said this golf course reaches out to a lot more people than a high-profile golf course.

Lakeside Golf Course is a place for anyone to get started, and once Lakeside helps individuals become better golfers Henderson said that is when people “graduate” to high profile golf courses.

“Typically, everyone who begins golf begins at a municipal facility like we have here,” Henderson said. “This has contributed to our success; we encourage anyone to come play.