Hesperia residents will have multiple opportunities this year to shape the future of the Hesperia Golf & Country Club.
The city purchased the 18-hole course in 2010 as part of a $4.2 million package deal for the 675 acre-feet of water rights that officials really wanted.
Since purchasing the course, the city has contracted with the Hesperia Recreation and Park District to run the facility. But the city and park district have avoided making major expenditures on the aging course -- the course was a stop on the PGA Tour in the 1950s and 1960s -- until its fate has been decided.
City officials were pleased to get so much water with a single purchase -- unusual in a region that has seen decades of development -- but much of the water is currently used to keep the fairways of the par-72 course green. In order to free up some of that water for other purposes, changes to the course may be made, including narrowing fairways, more efficient watering systems or cutting the course down to nine holes. The city will also look at staffing levels at the facility.
"We really want to look at how we can reduce water usage on the course, if it stays a golf course," Kim Summers, assistant to City Manager Mike Podegracz, said Wednesday.
In April, the city will commission a feasibility study.
"The first [part] is a competitive market analysis," said Summers. "What we want them to do is to go out and look at all the golf courses operating out here in the Victor Valley."
The goal will be to come up with a plan where the course can be profitable within five years.
"We're looking to avoid it being a drain on the city."
In the spring, the public will be invited to workshops asking for input on the course's future. There will also be a survey on the city's website. The results of the public input and the feasibility study will be compiled over the summer, and in the fall, there will be a second round of workshops, presenting the most viable options for public feedback.
Finally, the Hesperia City Council will receive the results of both the analysts' and public's input next winter and vote on a future for the city's golf course.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.