Ice Machine Solutions for Country Clubs and Golf Courses

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Article contributed by John Mahlmeister, COO, Easy Ice

Busy season has begun for country clubs across America, and experts predict an exceptionally hot summer this year. What do club members, guests, and tournament golfers need for the best experience at your course in 2023?

Ice. Whether they’re taking a water break on the green under the noonday sun or having a cocktail at your country club’s restaurant, your guests expect clean ice in their drinks. If you don’t already have the perfect number of high-performing ice machines on club grounds, now is the time to close the gap.

What’s the most cost-effective, convenient way to acquire and manage ice machines for your country club or golf course? Let’s find out.


Renting vs. Buying Ice Equipment

Most golf courses and country clubs rent their ice machines instead of buying them, with good reason. Commercial ice machines are expensive, especially ones from the best brands, costing between $6000-$10,000 on average. If your course or club has anywhere from 10-25 ice machines on the premises, that adds up to a staggering amount of capital. And the spending doesn’t stop at purchase—80% of ice machine expenses occur after you buy the equipment. You can thank the ongoing professional maintenance and inevitable repairs for that.

If you own your ice equipment, you’re responsible for maintaining it. And just like the vehicle you drive, an ice machine is doomed to break down sooner and more frequently if you neglect its maintenance. Ice machines demand deep cleaning, inspection, and water filter changes at least twice a year to stay high-performing and sanitary. That’s even more true for units installed outdoors. Outdoor ice machines are also more likely to break down in the summer heat than their indoor counterparts—and the last thing you need is an ice shortage on your golf course during the hottest months of the year.

  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • Easy Ice
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • Atosa USA
  • RATIONAL USA
  • McKee Foods
  • Red Gold Sacramento
  • Imperial Dade
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • Day & Nite
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Inline Plastics

Country clubs and golf courses that own their ice equipment rarely service it themselves. They hire local third-party companies—whether HVAC, refrigeration, or commercial ice machine specialists—to do the work for them. In certain parts of Florida, the average maintenance bill for a country club ice machine is $300, while the average repair bill is $708 nationwide1. That’s bad enough for business owners who only have one ice machine to deal with. Imagine how much you could spend per year on ice machine maintenance and repairs with a dozen ice machines or more at your club.

Most country clubs and golf courses rent their ice machines instead of buying to conserve capital both upfront and over time. It’s an easy choice to make. On the other hand, picking the right ice machine rental option can be less straightforward.

Renting vs. Subscription

Traditional rental and lease options vary widely by location. The ice machine brands and models, age of equipment, monthly rates, inclusion or exclusion of equipment maintenance and repairs, contract length, technician quality, and other details can all look different from one region, state, city, or town to another. While some local and regional ice machine rental companies provide excellent products and service at fair rates, others will fall short of country club standards. Local and regional ice machine rental companies may not carry the ice type or ice machine brand your club prefers, or they may not be able to deliver the machines you want for several months, as supply chain issues continue to affect their inventory.

A national ice machine subscription always offers both equipment and service for a single payment. A national subscription also has the added benefits of better equipment availability, brand and ice type variety, and longer customer service hours. Depending upon your club’s location, a national subscription might cost more than a local rental, but always remember to weigh the other details equally when comparing your options.

Think About Speed and Quality of Service

When it’s tournament time or the busy season is in full swing, you need an ice machine service company you can count on to show up fast. Relying on HVAC and refrigeration companies to fix the ice machines you own? A surefire way to end up waiting too long for repairs. Sometimes, during the summer, these companies will take a whole week to show up for a country club/golf course ice machine repair!

If you want next-day or even same-day service for your out-of-order ice machines, not to mention the highest quality service, you need a company specializing in commercial ice machines. Depending upon your location, these ice machine service companies can be few and far between, with steep rates. If you’re renting the ice machines at your club, your rental company may offer maintenance and repairs, but not all of them do. The ones that do may charge separate fees for service, despite the fact you’re renting their equipment.

An all-inclusive ice machine subscription bundles the equipment and service together for one monthly rate. Typically, a certain number of maintenance visits are covered per year, along with some or all repairs. Beyond the cost factor, a national ice machine subscription also beats the competition in service. With plenty of highly experienced technicians who only work on commercial ice equipment, a national subscription company will provide the best quality ice machine maintenance and repairs and the fastest turnaround times.

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If your country club or golf course needs new ice machines or is re-evaluating how satisfied you are with your current rental solution, think about a national ice machine subscription. More affordable than ice machine ownership, more reliable and comprehensive than most local rental options, a national ice machine subscription will keep your ice supply reliable on your club’s busiest days, spare you stress, and save you money.


John Mahlmeister is the chief operating officer and co-founder of Easy Ice. Co-headquartered in Phoenix, AZ and Marquette, MI, Easy Ice is the national leader in the full-service ice machine subscription industry with warehouse and distribution facilities in Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Denver. Since its founding in 2009, Easy Ice has rapidly grown the number of ice machines under management to over 30,000 units across 47 states. The Easy Ice commercial ice machine subscription programs include installation, cleaning, preventive maintenance, repairs, and backup ice. For more information, please visit EasyIce.com. Find them on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • Inline Plastics
  • Imperial Dade
  • Red Gold Sacramento
  • McKee Foods
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • Easy Ice
  • Atosa USA
  • Day & Nite
  • RATIONAL USA
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • DAVO by Avalara