Range balls now complimentary at RSF Golf Club

Good news for your long game: Driving range balls are now free at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. The Rancho Santa Fe Association board approved the change at its Sept. 7 meeting.

The club had been charging a $3-$5 fee for bags, which resulted in about $24,000 in annual revenue for the club. RSF Golf Club Board President Jim Danola said the change was proposed as one of the most frequent comments that they received from a recent member survey was on the range ball fee.

“I’m a golf member and I don’t like paying for my balls,” RSF Association President Fred Wasserman said. “Most clubs of equal quality don’t charge for balls.”

Wasserman said his one issue with offering the balls for free is ensuring how the revenue will be recovered by the golf club.

Danola said that the amount is a relatively small in terms of their larger budget and stated that replacing the revenue will not raise dues or fees somewhere else.

“I don’t think it will place a financial restriction on the golf club by letting those fees go,” Danola said. “It’s well worth it to enhance the golf club experience.”

RSF Association board members Rick Sapp and Ken Markstein said the club may need to monitor some unintended consequences of the change, such as increased range use, ball collection and service.

At the Sept. 7 RSF Association board meeting, the Association also discussed the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club’s recent change in its plan of operations, transition from semi-annual to monthly billing and moving a due date for golf fees up a month, from Sept. 10 to Aug. 10.

Moving the date caused some delinquencies to pop-up, according to controller Matthew Ditonto. About 126 members were delinquent and the RSF Association will be granting a one-time forgiveness on the 10 percent penalty charge.

RSF Association board member Allen Finkelson said he did not want to encourage this type of behavior as the membership approved the plan of operations and should have been advised of the change in due dates.

Ditonto said it may take some time for habits to change with the billing cycle adjustments.