When many people think about golf, they envision private country clubs filled with pristine expanses of freshly mown fairways, reserved for the exclusive pleasure of only the well-heeled. While The Captains Golf Course does in fact have pristine fairways, as a municipal golf course owned by the Town of Brewster, we welcome many golfers who are town residents. With annual passes starting at $446, a season’s worth of golf here is by no means reserved for the “well-heeled.”
There’s no doubt that, thanks to the efforts of Golf Course Superintendent Pete Ervin and his team, the Port and Starboard courses at The Captains are stunning, considered among the best public courses on the Cape. The exceptional condition of the courses can lead to a misconception that maintaining The Captains must be an unnecessary draw on the Town of Brewster’s finances, yet the exact opposite is true.
In the 34 years since The Captains opened, $5 million – an average of nearly $150,000 per year – has gone into the town’s General Fund. Rather than taking money away from much-needed town services, monies from The Captain help support them.
Not only does The Captains provide the Town of Brewster with funds directly; the money that flows into the town from the courses indirectly is also significant. Of the nearly 75,000 rounds of golf played at The Captains last year, more than 36,000 were played by “daily fee players” rather than annual pass holders.
According to information in a report from the Golf Superintendents Association of Cape Cod, 64% of people who visit the Cape to play golf spend at least one night. The same report estimated that these overnight visitors spend an average of $445.91 on golfing, lodging, and dining. Apply that $445.91 to 64% of the 36,000 daily fee rounds played at The Captains, and the total is more than $10 million.
Additional ways in which The Captains contributes to the town include offering reduced greens fees for charity golf tournaments, and in-kind donations to assist area organizations with their fundraising efforts.
While not every Brewster resident plays golf at The Captains, between the revenue the courses contribute to the town’s General Fund, and ancillary revenue generated by visiting golfers, every Brewster resident does benefit from having a municipally owned golf course in their town.