So what does it cost to keep a golf course "clean"? One of my staff members ask me that question last week and it got me thinking, and the figures I came up with are striking. Just looking at the month of November alone, we used 350 man-hours blowing leaves with our turbine blowers and/or tractor mounted blowers and 100 man-hours blowing leaves with backpack blowers. If we average $8.00/hour for pay then we spent $3,600.00 on labor alone to blow leaves from the course.
Now I didn't bother to figure up costs for engine oil or batteries for the turbine remotes and I am extremely thankful that we have electric utility vehicles so we don't have the added fuel expense that they would use.
This also doesn't account for the cost of
equipment that is used to keep the course clean. Turbine blowers like we have can run between $8,000-$9,000 each and tractor mounted blowers can run several thousands of dollars. I consider myself lucky in that I have a forest surrounding my course and not homes because I always have somewhere to blow the leaves but some courses are not as fortunate and have to collect leaves and pile them in a selected location on the course. Sweepers and vacuums can run between $20,000.00 to $40,000.00 depending on how big and what features you want out of your vacuum/sweeper.
So as you can see golf courses with beautiful, tree lined fairways that separate one hole from the others and give each hole its own look and feel, invest a ton of money and resources in keeping the playing surfaces clear of debris and playable. We have, and will continue to, invest the time, manpower, and resources needed to keep the course clean and enjoyable for all.
What does a "Clean" course cost? A LOT!!!