Thanks for the post, King. I started writing this as a comment, then got a bit long-winded. I hope you don't mind me posting over already, King.
I think I have made my position clear on the pay-2-play model. All in all, I am for it. The upkeep is the big sticking point. Too often a course will go in with the best of intentions, however, the way it was pitched to the city includes a start up cost and nominal upkeep that would differ only slightly from the work already done on the parks. However, this pitch does not take into account typical degredation of any facilities and courses often go into disrepair. Case in point: Hansen Park who still has the UFO flying saucer pins! This is where pay-2-play can come in and rescue the situation.
My fear, however, is that this will become a slippery slope. Currently, the Twin Cities courses switching to p2p are the higher tier ones, those who are used in regional level tournaments. But if this should then be applied to courses throughout the metro, I would reconsider. I believe a universal p2p model would be too much of a departure from the ethos of the game.
The difficulty with the Twin Cities in particular centers around the multitude of civic entities. These models are applied to So St Paul and Inver Grove Heights. But what about Roseville, Crystal, White Bear Lake or Plymouth? What happens when they see the $30k raised by So St Paul last year and decide they want to raise $30k too? You then saturate the market with p2p memberships that are good only for those civic areas. If this continues to be a trend, I would hope that an overall vision is cast for p2p in the area that includes more of a universal membership in the Cities, as well as free courses.
Knowing Mike, I believe he has the best interests of DG in mind when he sets this up. However, he is also in business and such things tend to have a way of clouding issues. Let us hope that we do not deviate from our roots to the point that we lose sight of our identity.