JBER considering golf course closure

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 23:00
Study determines a steep downward trend

Anchorage may soon have one less golf course.

A study began more than a year ago by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and 673d Air Base Wing commander determined that base’s golf programs may have excess capacity.

JBER announced intentions to adjust its golf program.

This could mean consolidating base courses from three down to two.

JBER currently hosts three of the four 18-hole golf courses in the greater Anchorage area: Moose Run Creek, Moose run Hill and Eagleglen.

The fourth, Anchorage Golf Course, is operated through the Municipality of Anchorage.

JBER’s courses are open to both the military community and the public. They have a combined total of 54 holes.

According to JBER, the courses have been a popular attraction to the local community, which represented approximately 65 percent of the players over the past three years.

Still, golf courses in the Anchorage area are experiencing a long-term downward trend in rounds played.

JBER has seen an 11-year net loss, with more than a $1.9 million net loss over the past three years and more than $2.2 million over the past five years.

The past three years, approximately 54 percent of the available rounds have gone unsold.

The declining trend began more than a decade ago.

In 2003, the JBER courses sold approximately 75,150 rounds.

By 2013, that total had dropped to 47,092 rounds.

This decrease directly impacts JBER’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund, which supports programs and activities such as fitness centers, libraries, outdoor recreation and youth programs.

The proposed golf course adjustment isn’t a unique situation. A golf course was closed in Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida last year and others have closed in Nebraska and Kansas in recent years.

“We remain greatly appreciative of the support we get from the people of the greater Anchorage area, but with figures as drastic as these, it’s imperative we take swift action to align our MWR program with customer demand and in a manner best supportive of our installation’s population,” said Air Force Col. Brian Duffy, JBER and 673 ABW commander.

Additional information on the analysis and proposal will be discussed at meetings at 6 p.m. March 5 and 6 at the Moose Run Golf Course Clubhouse, 27000 Arctic Valley Road, on JBER.

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