Business figures to be brisk at Torrey
SPLASH - COURSE - The beautiful 4th hole at Torrey Pines South course. — K.C. Alfred / K.C. Alfred/Union-Tribune
The Torrey Pines golf courses likely didn’t feel the full positive impact of the 2008 U.S. Open because the economic crash happened only months after the tournament was over. All of the golf industry has struggled since.
But the city likely stands to benefit now in the seven-year buildup to the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines that was approved by the City Council on Monday. The economy has improved and the demand to play Torrey, especially the South Course, will no doubt be greater.
As it is, Marney said play at the municipal facility was up 5 percent in the past fiscal year over the previous year.
“All in all, it’s great for us,” Marney said. “It solidifies the golf division for the next seven years. Torrey Pines drives our enterprise fund. That helps stabilize the money that we have to invest at Balboa and Mission Bay, to continue to subsidize those facilities.
2021 U.S. Open Approved
“The golf market is not in a great situation right now. Going forward, hopefully that changes. With this announcement we have some pent-up demand there for folks to come out and play. We think it will help insulate us and keep us in a situation where the enterprise fund is in a good position.”
The golf staff reported in February that the enterprise fund has a reserve of more than $18 million. Among the upcoming projects are the renovation of the North Course at Torrey Pines, a new clubhouse at Balboa Park, and a modular clubhouse and other improvements at Mission Bay.
A possible new clubhouse at Torrey Pines remains in the long-term plans.
As it did for ’08, the USGA will require a large practice facility for ’21. A driving range pad crossed from west to east on the fourth and 10th holes last time, and Marney said that likely would be the case for the next Open. The North’s ninth and 18th holes was used as short-game practice area.
“In the preliminary discussions we’ve had so far, 2008 is the footprint that we’re starting with,” Marney said. “I’m sure there will be some tweaks and changes, but the practice facility being discussed is similar. We’re a long ways away, though, so that could change.”
The USGA produced Torrey Pines-logoed merchandise a full four years before the ’08 Open, and that was huge for its coffers, with a reported $13 million in sales before the tournament even arrived.
Torrey Pines Club Corp. President Susan Casagranda said she hasn’t received word yet on ’21 merchandise because the USGA still has logos to produce for several of the other upcoming championships.
But with out-of-towners streaming to Torrey Pines daily to buy souvenirs – something that doesn’t happen at private clubs such as Winged Foot or Shinnecock Hills -- don’t be surprised if Torrey sets a new record for earliest logo release.
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