Going for the Green

Robert Thompson's comments, criticism and opinion on the world of golf.

6 responses to “London turns around its munis — or does it?”

  1. Michael Klug


    More data here if you are interested. Looks like there was some reduction in expenditures too and big jump in memberships.

    Your “little bit” of profit is 300K.

    Your article appears to get Thames and River Road confused in a few cases.

    You might also have considered acknowledging that you were wrong about this issue when you weighed in on it a couple years back.

    You might also have mentioned some of the work done at River Road this year, which as I understand has been well-received by golfers.

    As to how and why the London munis are “bucking the trend”, the answer surely relates to a number of things — but reduced fees and the fact that London golfers as a whole overwhelmingly support the maintenance of the current system (with River Road) surely tops the list.

    Finally, I wonder what private courses in the area, in the same price range, you would consider superior to River Road or the Fanshawe courses. From here, they both appear to provide good value relative to their competition.

  2. Robert Thompson

    Do you mean privately owned? I’d say Tarandowah is vastly superior to everything in the city, and Firerock and Forest City offer deals that put them very close to the city courses for a much higher quality. Frankly, Thames is a good course. River Road is horrible, regardless of what they do to it and Fanshawe is somewhere in the middle.

    And I’ll believe a $300,000 profit when they bring final numbers out — and I’ll be more surprised if they can maintain it.

  3. Michael Klug

    Yes, privately owned, open to the public is what I meant to say.

    You will get no argument from me re Tarandowah, even tho it is 1/2 hour out of town and a little more expensive than the London munis.

    But Firerock and Forest City’s rates are in different league re greens fees then the London munis. Firerock: $48 twilight; $75 top rate — FC $40 to $69 — River Road $20 twilight; $32 top rate — Thames $28 and $40.

    At these rates, the real comparators with the munis are the likes of Westminster Trails, the Fox, Oxbow Glen, Maple Ridge, throw Echo Valley and Pine Knot into the mix, if you like. Without pretending that River Road is akin to Oakmont, it at least sits comfortably in the middle of this pack. That’s why I hope and expect it will be around for a long while, unless the local private golf course owners, with your help, get to a majority on Council one of these years.

  4. Adam Rehorn

    I play River Road every week after work.

    I enjoy it every time I play. It is challenging in spots, and while I admit it may not be the most spectacular course, it is definitely a better course than Westminister, I would say.

    I think it is a valuable asset to the city and hope that it stays open for a long time to come.

    People whine about munis eating taxpayer money; so does London’s Aquatic Center, Orchestra and Library system. So what? No one seems to mind taxes going to that, let alone the black hole that is “downtown revitalization”. A city exists to try and cater to all of its citizens, including those who golf.

    I would say that River Road constitutes a good game of golf at a very cheap price, something I think more people should consider.

  5. Al Szawara

    I have been in London for 16 years and have played all of the golf courses within 45 minutes of here. I think that River Road is a great course to play as it is a good challenge to the average golfer. It is better than Westminster or Oxbow Glen and the price is good. If you want to spend $60 or more, than go ahead and play Firerock or Forest City. I will continue to play at River Road.

  6. Al Szawara

    I agree that River Road is a reasonably good course for the average golfer. Sure, there are better courses around but they are also quite a bit more expensive. Westminster Trails is awful as is Oxbow Glen but I still play a couple of rounds at each every year, just for the challenge. I would lose my mind playing the same course all of the time. Most of the people who complain are actually pretty ousey golfers who think that they are good.

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