Golf course beer sales exceed expectations

Herald Staff Writer

JASPER — The transition to selling beer at the city golf courses over the past three months has gone smoothly, according to city officials.

Jasper Municipal and Ruxer golf courses started selling beer June 13. With that, golfers and visitors to the courses are no longer allowed to bring in alcohol.

“People have really cooperated,” said Steve Milligan, director of golf for the city park department. “They understand the change and have been good at following it.”

Beer sales for the two courses through August have totaled $21,374. Of that, Jasper Municipal has sold $17,881 and Ruxer has sold $3,493.

“It has exceeded our expectations,” Park Director Ken Buck said. “The sales have been running smoother than we thought and anticipated.”

Jasper Municipal’s sales for August have been the best, at $9,380; that is more than twice as much as that course’s July sales, which were $4,430. Milligan attributed the exceptional sales to the golf scramble held Aug. 2 to 4 as part of the Strassenfest.

“The scrambles do well,” he said. “With all the people here, the sales peak then.”

About 20 scrambles have been held at the courses since beer sales started in June and many of them, like the Jasper football scramble in June and The Herald Dubois County Men’s Amateur Golf Tournament in July, draw big crowds, Milligan said.

With that, the staff has had to work hard to keep up with the demands of the crowds during the scrambles. “When you have lots of groups coming at you all at once, that’s a lot to handle,” he said.  “But we’ve learned. Now when we do it, it runs more smoothly.

Both Buck and Milligan said that the public overall has complied with the new arrangement.

“There have been some who don’t live around here anymore and come back for a game that didn’t know” of the change, Buck said. “We’ve had only a few of those instances. We just told them that they couldn’t bring their own alcohol on the courses, and they complied.”

The park department has obtained alcohol permits to sell beer and wine, but its plan at this time is to sell beer only, Buck said.

Beer costs $2.50 a can and $12 for a six-pack. A cooler for the alcohol must be rented for $10. The cooler fee is returned to the golfers when they return the cooler.

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