The Hot Springs Village Golf Committee met on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at 3:00 PM at the Ouachita Room at Ponce de Leon Center. Golf Director, Tom Heffer, updated the committee on the past month’s activities, while Board Director, Bob McLeod, shared the latest information regarding Board activities. McLeod also talked about the Cooper Land Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee and how the Golf Department may be affected. Kelly Hale, HSVPOA GM, also jumped in to offer some additional information about the CCI reserve property that is for sale. The aeration on the courses is finished and the greens are healing.
It was announced that Craig Hall was unanimously selected as a new member of the Golf Committee, starting in June.
Update from Tom Heffer, Golf Director
The Golf Director said the March report showed golf rounds down 3,050 due to weather with 18 less playable days. “Year-to-date, we are down 1,486 rounds from 2021. The Stay and Play Packages continue strong, 27% above year-to-date. The good thing we keep saying is that 128 of those packages [199 total] are brand new. They have not been here before.”
Heffer continued, “The spring application has been completed on all six of the bent grass greens. Ponce, Cortez, Granada, Isabella, Balboa, and Coronado have all been punched and are ready for a nice busy spring, I hope.”
Heffer said the golf carts lease for Granada and Coronado for 2023 was approved by the Board for the low lease bid with Club Car for a five-year lease for one hundred twenty carts – forty-five at Coronado and seventy-five at Granada. “We looked at purchasing versus lease and lease was a better financial decision. We’ll go through this bid process every year to try to get good pricing each year…We did a five-year lease this year, instead of a six.”
The Board also approved a spring pre-emergent program. “We had to change our product this year because last year’s product cost rose by $700 a ton and we needed more of it. With this product, we needed less and it also contains our fertilizer. They supply the spreader and we got it done in one day as opposed to a week at each course – at no [extra] charge.”
Tom said they have added landscaping changes at Magellan and Isabella Clubhouses. “We did some rock in there, trying to lower the maintenance and make it look better and new.
The waterfall at Granada is repaired after being out since October. The delay in repair was due to a COVID-caused supply chain issue in obtaining the pump.
The Golf Department had two successful tournaments in March but another tournament was rained out.
Drainage issues at Granada have been addressed.
Heffer said marketing has been going full steam. The Arkansas Golfer recently visited the Village. Avid Golfer from Dallas also visited Hot Springs Village on the April 23 – 25 weekend and the POA sent out 44,000 Eblasts which yielded 550 visitor views on Explore the Village dot com.
The weekend of April 23 – 25, there was a Gen X golf tournament and half of the participants came to the Village with the rest going to the Hot Springs Country Club.
Update from Board Director, Bob McLeod
Board Director Bob McLeod updated the committee on the Annual Membership Board Meeting and Special Meeting, which occurred the previous day on April 20. Two new Board Members, Bruce Caverly and Jama Lopez were sworn in and the corporate officers were elected. McLeod said the GM had a great annual report. (Click here to view and/or download the GM’s Annual Report.)
McLeod said Hot Springs Village Social and Economic Contributions to the Area was recently published. Click here to view and/or download this report.
McLeod stated that the Board also approved 11 items to be purchased for the Golf Department. “The budget for the 11 items was $302,000 and Tom came in at $302,800. He came in real close to budget and we’re getting a lot of new equipment.” As the bids stated, “not to exceed” the final cost to the Golf Department may end up being under budget. Click here to read the initial discussion of this topic which occurred at the April 7 Board Discussion Session.
McLeod shared that the Board set up a Cooper Land Evaluation Ad Hoc Committee to look at the CCI reserved property which is for sale. The ad hoc committee is determining what land the POA may be interested in purchasing and how to fund the possible purchases. Assessment money will NOT be used to purchase this land. He said the committee has narrowed down the list from fifty to twenty properties that the POA may be interested in. The two properties that affect golf are:
- Golf cart trailer parking at Coronado Golf Course. This land is in a flood plain.
- The DeSoto Golf Cart Path is on Cooper property. Can the path be moved off of Cooper’s property?
General Manager, Kelly Hale Spoke to the Golf Committee Regarding the CCI Reserve Property
“Here is the deal. I am not going to throw good money after bad. I advised the Board to take a committee member from every committee so we have a nice blended, independent view.”
Hale said the Board and Staff were prompted to look into the CCI reserve property for sale because of concerns about the Cedar Creek Trail. The Cedar Creek Trail is located on CCI-owned property. “We asked to do an exploratory, to see if there is any potential.”
We’re evaluating. We’re running it up the flag pole. We’re doing the right thing. We’re getting a nice blended group of people to give their opinion, as members of the community so that we as the Board and the POA can make a conscious decision on how we spend our money. My focus is on infrastructure.– HSVPOA General Manager, Kelly Hale
Hale said that at the Balboa Gate, CCI sold the property where Entergy power lines are located. As there was not a written agreement allowing Entergy to locate the power lines on this property, the new owner is requiring Entergy to move the lines.
Hale continued, “Things like that are actually going on. That is a great example of what we are talking about. It happened. What we are doing is being very proactive and going through and identifying where we need easements from CCI on water towers, trails, and anything else. We’ve already moved a couple of trails…Why Cooper did it, I can’t tell you. There is stuff plotted everywhere…CCI is pulling up tent stakes and they are off-loading their assets as fast as possible.”
It would behoove us to at least explore this and present some things to the Cooper Foundation about options they may want to think (about) for tax breaks, to be able to grant this land to the Village.– HSVPOA General Manager, Kelly Hale
Hale said there are a number of possibilities on the table and the ad hoc committee is comprised of very smart people, “so we get it right and don’t miss an opportunity. I am not looking to buy more land.”
The General Manager said he liked to attend as many committee meetings as possible so he has a better idea of what is going on. Hale added that the organization is handcuffed right now with the inflationary environment we are experiencing.
“I am not talking about cost as much, as actually getting people to come to do the work. But I am not going to throw good money after bad.”
Golf Director Heffer Explains Difference Between Tournaments and Church/Neighborhood Groups
Heffer explained, “We have tournaments in the Village that we run for different organizations. There is a tournament fee to cover all the extra expenses when we host it [to cover] all of the services we provide. It is just one rate – a tournament rate.”
“We also have neighborhood church groups that we work with that just basically pay their applicable green fees. I just want to make sure that we are not mixing these two up.” The church groups and neighborhoods are not paying the tournament fees, so they do not receive some of the extra services provided to the tournament players.
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