YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollections

Report suggests changes at DeBell

Councilman calls recommended infrastructure, food upgrades 'nothing radical.'

January 10, 2012|By Maria Hsin,
  • Burroughs junior Alex Chandler tees off at the first tee at Debell Golf Club in Burbank on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Burroughs junior Alex Chandler tees off at the first tee…

A draft report by the firm brought in to help turn around the struggling DeBell Golf Club suggested infrastructure upgrades and a concessions revamp for what it otherwise called a “quality municipal golf course.”

In the report to a golf club oversight committee created by the City Council, the nonprofit National Golf Foundation suggested reducing the number of trees and upgrading the infrastructure to make the course more playable and attract more golfers.

But beyond the upgrades, Councilman Dave Golonski said, “it’s nothing radical.”

Golonski and Mayor Jess Talamantes — who called the troubled, city-owned DeBell Golf Foundation “too big to fail” last year when the city approved a $2-million rescue package — sit on the oversight committee, which is slated to take up the report today before sending it to the City Council for review.

Parks officials said the golf course had been losing about $300,000 annually in recent years.


As part of the financial bailout, the city set up stricter oversight and eventually agreed to spend roughly $24,500 to bring in the National Golf Foundation to help turn around the club.

But the nonprofit found that DeBell generally compares well to its immediate competition. Its golf course is shorter, but the unique green and modern clubhouse set it apart, according to the report.

Among the recommendations that Golonski said stood out to him was the need to work more closely together and for more “golfer-friendly” aspects at the concessions, including grab-and-go-style food.

The Clubhouse Grill “appears to be operating a restaurant that happens to be located at a golf course rather than a golf course food and beverage concession,” according to the report.

The foundation also noted that the course is neither visible nor well marketed, with signage to the property “virtually nonexistent.”

The total marketing budget for DeBell is below standard, according to the draft report.

Representatives for the National Golf Foundation declined to comment on the report pending its review by the golf oversight committee.

The National Golf Foundation determined in its report that staffers at DeBell have “appropriately observed that increasing event, outing and tournament golf business will be the key to regaining the level of income that has been lost in recent years, requiring enhancements to marketing and improved cooperation between concessionaires.”

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles