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Golfers rally around DeBell

Mike Pafford has a vested interest in ensuring that the struggling DeBell Golf Club gets back on solid ground. He’s played at the course since he was 11 years old.

After pulling together some promotional ideas with fellow golfers, he was among dozens of DeBell users who turned out in recent weeks to weigh in on the city’s plans to shore up the municipal course’s finances.

“I wanted to see about the input that was given last week, and see if the City Council is willing to listen, and it sounds like they are listening,” said Pafford, 53, who is also a member of the Burbank Men’s Golf Club.

He added that it would be a good idea to have a golfer on the oversight committee created by the City Council after it approved a $2-milion bailout package, but said that as long as officials are willing to be open-minded about receiving their input, it would be in the best interest of the course.


Close to 30 people turned out last week at DeBell to share ideas on improving the visibility and financial situation of the golf club, which has been operating in the red for two years now.

Many of the suggestions were about improved signage, especially at Walnut Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard.

When the current clubhouse was in the design stages, officials considered a Craftsman-style sign of wood with a stone base, but it was pegged at about $3,000 at the time.

Other suggestions at the meeting included smaller signs around town and possibly at the city boundary, which golfers said would advertise the course to residents and visitors.


Councilman Dave Golonski suggested tapping Woodbury University students to design new signs as a cost-saving measure.

Scott Scozzola, director of golf operations at DeBell, presented information on promotions, improvements to the club’s website, the use of social media and programs aimed at attracting new golfers, including a plan to move tees forward for a more forgiving and shorter golf experience.

A two-day promotion on Groupon in July also generated $45,517 for the golf club.

Scozzola mentioned incentives to reward golfers who play frequently, and the desire to attract more non-residents, especially from neighboring cities such as Glendale and Studio City.

He also touched on creating a marketing plan and possible places to advertise, including movie theaters.

The City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 25 at City Hall to discuss DeBell and present the information the committee has gathered thus far.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for Sept. 14. Both meetings are open to the public.