Golf course memberships in Detroit are surging

Published August 28, 2019 by FOX 2 Detroit

DETROIT (FOX 2) – Golf course memberships at three of Detroit’s courses are seeing a spike.

“The momentum is high. People are talking about golf, they want to play golf, I see young people, I see families out here. I see husbands and wives, it’s just on fire right now,” said Charles Bush.

Rackham Golf Course, Rouge Park and Chandler Park are managed for the city by Signet Golf Associate – and all three courses that have benefited from Detroit’s economy on the upswing.  

“We’ve noticed that there has been a significant spike within the past couple of years and that residents really want to enjoy the services, the courses the parks, bring their families, starting the next generation of participation,” said Tiffany Crawford, city of Detroit. “And we’ve noticed the outside communities have also wanted to participate.

In 1984, Charles Renfrow played in the Horton Smith Golf Tournament and Michigan Medal Play Championship at the Detroit Golf Club. He was the first African-American to be invited. He won in 1984 and then again in 1986, and he is proud to be a Detroit golfer.  

“I have been playing golf for more than 50 years,” he said. “Over 50 years, I can hardly believe that. It’s enjoyable to see your own power and strength (propelling the) golf ball in the air.  I enjoyed that the most.”

Chandler Park has seen a 51 percent increase in revenue between 2018 and this year. That’s not surprising to managers on the three courses.  

“We have made some tremendous investments in this property and what you are seeing today is really a dream come true for me. I’m a native Detroit are and I’ve seen these courses over a period of the last 45 years and I have not seen anything better than what we are looking at today,” said Karen Peek, director of operations.

“My son works downtown and he and his work mates asked me to play golf with them,” said Bush. “It’s just an energy that’s in the city right now that golf is a fantastic sport.”