MGC Financial Picture 2023 Fall

MGC Fall Financial Update – November 2023

“Keeping us All on the Same Page”

If you’re counting our strokes, you know this is the 5th financial update in a series designed to keep MGC members on the same financial page.  The previous updates are archived on our website (access instructions at the bottom) for new members and anyone who would like to refresh.  We use the Fall Financial Update to let you know how the season went financially and Interim (spring) Update to talk about how we managed any operational surplus from the previous year.  In this update, we’ll do a little of both, providing a snapshot of where the club is now and we’ll also stroll down memory lane to reminisce about how far we’ve actually come in a few short years. There is a lot of positive information about our club included, so fasten your seatbelts, here we go!


The books aren’t closed on 2023, but by all accounts, it will be another great year for our club and we will develop another (much needed) surplus.  Rates were raised on outside play for 2023, resulting in record-breaking revenue while increasing “member only” tee time availability.  The Pro Shop renovation not only looks great, but expanded selling space which drove record-breaking revenue despite the latest spring start since 1983.  Membership numbers remained stable after several years of nominal increases, providing a solid foundation of revenue we hope to sustain.  Replacing member turnover is an annual challenge and a perpetual concern.

Now for the really good news:  No member dues increase for 2024!  And if you’re keeping track, this is the third year in a row with no member dues increase.  With everything costing more every day, we are proud to sustain our commitment to keep member dues as stable as possible. We continue to increase rates on outside play, using the incremental revenue – and the merchandise sales that come with it – to keep member rates where they are as long as we can – and to continue chipping away at our deferred maintenance projects.  So, as we keep saying, the next time you see a non-member out enjoying our beautiful courses, please show that U.P. hospitality and chat them up!

And speaking of deferred maintenance (aka our “capital improvements list”) we’ve knocked out two more late season items: exterior painting of the clubhouse and (some) paving.

Current Financial Picture

Where does that leave us?  For the 4th consecutive year, we will post a substantial, if not record, surplus.  However, rising expenses are right on the heels of our rising revenues and ever-expanding surpluses are unsustainable in any business.    Unfortunately, increasing expenses are relentless and inevitable, particularly in an inflationary environment.  In addition, MGC is on track to use up our Net Operating Loss for federal income tax by 2025, requiring us to pay income tax for the first time since Greywalls came on the scene 20 years ago.  Proof positive that success does indeed have a price, and ours will be diminishing margins very soon.  Higher dues will then likely be required to mitigate profit compression.   

Effectively managing our windfall success is a constant focus of the Board and Finance Committee.  Over the past four years, we have managed our approach with one eye on the capital markets and the other on our roster of need.  Two years ago, the best “return” we could get on our money was the 3.25% interest we saved ($16,250 per year) on the $500,000 additional payment we made on our bank debt.  Since then, interest rates have risen historically so we started stockpiling reserves instead.  We now have $1,500,000+, earning more than 5% interest, which will generate $75,000 in (new) interest income over the course of a year.  This may be the biggest reason we could keep dues flat again for 2024.

As far as that roster of need, replacing the Heritage irrigation system is the elephant on the green at this time.  The ever-changing price tag is currently projected at $1,600,000.  The targeted installation date is now 2025, which is subject to parts availability in addition to obtaining a contractor’s commitment.  The good news; we have $1,100,000 of CD investments currently available for this project with 20 months to raise the remainder from operations.  This does not include the $360,000 in operating capital we have to finish the year, without considering our December dues influx.  We are in terrific position to finally get this existential operating threat removed.          

There is a logic riddle that asks – How far can a dog run into the woods?  And the answer is – Halfway, because then it is running out of the woods.  We still have Greywalls debt of $2,500,000 and that pesky capital improvements list with another $2 million in projects that we prioritize and implement as funding becomes available.  So, MGC is the dog running out of woods at this point, but we just can’t quite see the clearing – yet.  However, our GPS (Golf Prosperity $y$tem) tells us we are definitely running in the right direction.  Woof!  Woof! (wag, wag)

Recent History

To put our journey in full perspective, let’s take that quick trip down memory lane and check out the progress we’ve made in three short years – because it’s definitely noteworthy.  The following is a summary of the capital investments we have made in our facilities from 2021 to date:

               Heritage pump house & pond dredge                                                   $299,495

               Greywalls pump & irrigation replacements                                          $199,481

               Pro Shop renovation & ball picker                                                          $199,415

               Clubhouse renovations, painting, equipment                                      $  61,580

               Power to GW shack, cameras, reel grinder                                          $111,730

               Cart path & parking lot paving                                                                $  50,275

               Total Capital Investment                                                                           $921,976

This $900,000+ investment in maintaining and upgrading our fantastic facilities is in accordance with our long-term capital improvement plan we continue to follow as resources permit.  Over the past three years we have also reduced the principal on our bank debt by $767,546 and retired $240,167 in equipment lease payments, representing another $1,000,000 of increased club equity.   The success of the last few years provided this opportunity to address several latent issues and we have been very thoughtful about how we managed it, and continue to do so.

As we’ve done with all of our financial updates, here are 5 things we’d like you to remember:

  1. Past success does not guarantee future success as economies slow and interests change.  We must and will continue to practice sound financial stewardship to best ensure the long-term viability of MGC.
  2. Outside play is a fortunate necessity for club finances, member dues rates, and our community economy.  It is also a balancing act to be closely managed toward maximizing member access and thus 2024 membership dues will not be raised, but outside play rates will be and those outside players should continue to help drive merchandise sales.
  3. We are committed to keeping members apprised of our financial status, the reasons behind the decisions we make, and all things MGC. 
  4. We truly thank every one of you for being a critical part of the exciting future of MGC.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding our finances, please contact a board member.
  5. Did we mention this is the third year in a row we haven’t increased dues?  

MGC Board of Directors and Finance Committee

How to Access Financial Updates from the Members-Only Section of our Website:

  • Go to “
  • Click on “Members”
  • Click on “Only Members” or “Members Only” (device dependent)
  • Enter the password and click on “Submit”
  • If you do not know the password, please contact the Business Office at 906-225-0721, ext. 3 
  • Select the box titled “Fall 2023 Financial Update” or “Archived Financial Updates”