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Greens fees and memberships at five Army golf courses in Germany will change this year, with daily fees increasing in most cases, but decreasing for youths and family memberships.

Starting April 1, troops ranked E-6 and above will pay $17 on weekdays and $23 on weekends, while junior enlisted will pay $13 and $17, respectively. All are increased from 2006. Golfers age 16 and under will pay $8 and $10, a decrease.

The overall price increase was due to higher business costs combined with flat revenues over the past three years, according to Dave Mattingly, business programs chief for Installation Command Europe’s Morale, Recreation and Welfare office.

“[Golf] requires a relatively high level of revenue to adequately operate and meet or exceed customer expectations,” Mattingly said. “The Army golf goal is to achieve quality playing conditions comparable to mid- to high-level municipal golf courses.”

Greens fees, which before could differ from course to course, would now be the same at all five courses.

Mattingly said an effort is being made to attract younger players, so family memberships were lowered for all enlisted, junior officer and lower-ranking civilians.

“There is an industry-awareness across golf to do the best possible job in growing their market,” Mattingly said.

The market had not been growing in Germany, Mattingly said. The numbers of rounds played in the past three years had stayed about the same at all five Army courses: Baumholder (10,108 rounds played in 2006), Bamberg (12,805), Heidelberg (31,611), Stuttgart (38,644) and Wiesbaden (32,050).

The number of price categories was also reduced from four to three. Players ranked E-6 were moved into a higher-paying group, while those ranking E-5 were moved into a lower-paying group.

As a result, E-5s and E-5 families who want yearlong memberships will see great reductions (42- and 46-percent, respectively) based on 2006 prices. But E-6s and E-6 families will see membership-rate hikes of 28 and 16 percent, respectively.

“No matter where the dividing line was set, whoever was on the high side of the dividing line would feel the greatest impact,” Mattingly said. “We looked at it carefully and tried to go for the least amount of impact.”

Army golf courses in Europe have a reciprocal agreement with each other: Someone who is a member at one course can receive a 50 percent discount at other IMCOM courses.

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