Golf in Madison area will decline

As Madison officials decide what to do with the city’s struggling golf course system, a new report has found that demand for golf in the area will likely decrease in a decade.

The report found that the area’s golf course market is over-saturated and that demand for golf rounds will begin to decrease as the baby-boom generation ages and plays less golf.

In addition, the number of public golf holes in the Madison area has swelled from 162 in 1999 to 351 in 2014, leading to a market that is “significantly over-supplied way in excess of an over-supplied national market,” the report said.

The analysis comes as Madison officials are looking for ways to reverse years of budget deficits for the Golf Enterprise the body that is responsible for Madison’s four public golf courses while finding money to pay for repairs needed across the system.

To help pay for repairs and make the Golf Enterprise sustainable, the Golf Subcommittee has looked for ways to increase revenue and pay for repairs.

The Golf Subcommittee has also asked for city money to keep all four courses open and to help with capital improvements, but Mayor Paul Soglin has said he’s opposed to giving money to the golf courses.