At the end of each season I like to tally the expenditures of the golf course operations and compare them against one another. I break down costs of labour, fertilizer, pesticides, aggregates, as well as number of hours spent on each area of the course. In this analysis I did not include unscheduled or equipment maintenance.
The following Chart illustrates where the budget at our course was divided amongst the different areas of the course.
We can clearly see that we are right on track with our spending when it comes to our priorities. The putting greens get the most attention at Pender Harbour followed by the tees and fairways. The fairway percentage is higher than tees only because they are about 15x the area of the tees. This is also true for the rough. Some courses spend a great deal on their traps trying to maintain them in as perfect a state as possible. In reality they are hazards and for the most part there is nothing wrong with the traps on our course. They could be better but so could everything else. If we wanted to increase the quality of our sand traps we would potentially see a drastic increase in our total budget.
The next chart shows the breakdown of where we spend most of our time maintaining.
As we can see the numbers closely resemble the cost breakdown of the first chart. The only real difference is the time we spend on the rough versus the fairways. Rough at Pender Harbour takes us a long time to cut. We don't have many open expanses of rough that can be cut with the bigger mowers and we also have a great deal of extremely steep slopes. For these reasons we use a smaller Toro 3500-D to cut all of our rough.
This next chart shows the breakdown of the expenses for the putting greens.
Most of the expenses associated with our operation are labor. All of the cultural practices take time. Mowing, rolling, grooming, fertilizing, spraying, changing holes, fixing ball marks are all very labor intensive and this is clearly illustrated on the above graph.
If we compare the greens to fairways we can see some significant differences.
On our fairways the fertilizer cost is a bigger portion of the total budget as the area is many times larger than the putting greens and with the larger mowers we get a better economy of scale. We also perform significantly less cultural practices on our fairways. We fertilize 2 times a year versus every week on putting greens and we don't use any pesticides on the fairways.
These numbers are pretty basic and not 100% accurate but next year I hope to more accurately track where our costs are being allocated on the course.