For decades, historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio has been a favorite of the city's senior golfers, junior golfers and beginning golfers. It's a short course, easy to walk, without much trouble. And best of all, cheap.
The clientele at Brackenridge, however, will likely soon undergo a dramatic shift. And those golfers - especially seniors - will probably wind up finding new places to play.
That's because Brack - which has been closed this year undergoing extensive renovations - will have much higher greens fees when it reopens later this year, Richard Oliver reports in the San Antonio Express-News.
Standard fees will more than double, from approximately $32 and $35 dollars (carts included) on weekdays and weekends, respectively, to $75 and $85.
That much for a muni? Those fees will place Brackenridge among the more expensive courses in San Antonio. And although discounts will be available for seniors and juniors, and a "players card" option will offer another way to reduce fees, the new rates will surely drive many golfers to other area courses.
But the Municipal Golf Association-San Antonio, the organiztion now running San Antonio's municipal golf courses, seems to be OK with that. Because when Brackenridge reopens on Dec. 1, it will reopen as a sparkling new course restored to its former glory as an A.W. Tillinghast design.
And the MGA-SA's goal is to have Brackenridge serve as the centerpiece of the city's efforts to sell itself as a golf destination.
Brackenridge, in other words, will become a golf course targeted as tourists, not at locals. Which isn't necessarily a good or a bad thing, just something different.
The revamping of Brackenridge (and of its marketing) is certainly a bold move by the MGA-SA. But it's not quite as bold as the vision that Ben Crenshaw had for the course when he and San Antonio developer Buddy Cook were mulling an effort to take over management of the course about six years ago. Crenshaw envisioned extending the River Walk to Brackenridge, and being able to ferry tourists staying at Downtown River Walk hotels to and from the golf course on river barges.