Laguna Lake golfers lukewarm about alcohol

Golfers on Wednesday greeted the San Luis Obispo City Council’s decision to allow alcohol sales at the Laguna Lake Golf Course with varying degrees of interest, but no wild enthusiasm.

The council voted 3-2 to solicit bids from licensed concessionaires for pre-prepared food and alcohol to be sold at the course. There is currently no concessionaire.

Council members Allen Settle and Jan Marx opposed the sale of alcohol, but supported other steps the council took, including lowering the price of a round in the early afternoon from $11 to $10.

City staff, and a majority of the council, seemed to believe that allowing alcohol sales would attract more bidders.

Many of the golfers said because it is a small course with 10 holes, mostly par 3 and only two par 4 holes, golfers might not stick around for a drink.

“I think it wouldn’t really make much difference,” said Bob Woods of San Luis Obispo, who plays the course twice a week. He likes the course because the prices are reasonable and it’s close to his home. “I like the 10-hole idea. I can be home in two hours after a round.”

Some golfers said their big treat is going to Costco for a hot dog and lemonade after a round of play.

Gil Torres said under some circumstances, it would be good.

“When it’s nice and hot, I’d buy a beer afterwards,” said the South County resident. He said he goes to all the courses around the county, but comes back to Laguna Lake because the prices are reasonable.

Some said that players already drink alcohol when playing a round, just beers or drinks they bring themselves. City Recreation Manager Linda Fitzgerald confirmed that fact: she said the city cannot police the golf course though it is illegal to bring in alcohol.

The city is hoping to attract more players with the alcohol and other decisions.

The basic cost of a round was raised from $9 to $11 last spring. But the council decided Tuesday to reduce the price to $10 for the off-peak hours of noon to 3 p.m., in part to attract more players. Later players get a steeper discount.

The council also adopted a six-month pilot program allowing those who play after noon to buy a $109 monthly pass.