Loser Communities Giving Up On Their Public Golf Courses! Shame on Them!
It's is a tragedy. Even if you don't play golf your community need its pride. I mean, you never use the library but you're not trying to close it, right?
Municipalities all around the USA that once bragged about their beautiful public golf courses are giving up on them. Follow this link, 'municipally owned golf course closings' and you'll see endless stories about LOSER cities closing their muni-golf courses.
I reviewed one 'muni' that was on the chopping block because it was losing $140,000 a year. Sure play had slipped in recent years, but there were still thousands of citizens playing the golf course. Nevermind the city parks, libraries, and other community services that also cost the taxpayers money - they single out the golf course. In the case of this particular city, the golf course losses amounted to 2 cents a day per person in the 24,000 population of this particular city.
So why do local politicians pick on the municipal golf course? Of course, an apparent decline in participation in golf has been in the news in recent years so municipal golf courses are an easy target for politicians. In fact, I read a comment by a city manager stating that golf is dying!
I cite one example of a municipal golf course that is thriving, Village Links of Glen Ellyn, located just west of Chicago.
Village Links thrives because it truly caters to its citizens. It's a terrific 27-hole golf course with an excellent practice range and a sporty bar and restaurant. However, it's the way it's managed that makes it so positive.
Village Links of Glen Ellyn contributes to the area golf economy because it has an aggressive teaching and learning program for new golfers. Every day all summer long they have a professional staff busy teaching men, women and children how to play golf. They don't integrate the 27-holes either. Instead they offer a 9-hole or an 18-hole round of golf. The 9-hole course is the busiest 'niner' I've ever seen. And guess what: All the surrounding privately-owned golf courses are thriving! Meanwhile, the Village of Glen Ellyn proudly boasts that the taxpayers have never been asked for a dime to support the 40+-year old golf course.
I CALL THE COMMUNITIES THAT CLOSE THEIR MUNIS LOSERS BECAUSE THEY ARE!
A golf course is from 100 to 200-acres of beautiful open greenspace. They are not only enjoyed by thousands of people - who still pay to play I might add - but golf courses are habitat for many desirable birds and animals. I look over the 10th tee at Isla Del Sol Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Florida and can hear and count endless kinds of birds that thrive around this golf course. In fact, every day I watch the once threatened Ospreys dive for fish in the golf course water hazards.
THEN THE PRIVATE SECTOR CRIES, "FOWL!" BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO COMPETE WITH THE MUNI GOLF COURSE
I won't name it but there's a city right now being told by the ownership of a competing golf course to close the city-owned golf course. Instead of sitting down with the city and coming up with a symbiotic business model that feeds both interests they go to war.
Wait a minute! If the private sector had its way they'd close Village Links! Meanwhile, not one private sector golf course in 1,000 lifts a finger to start new golfers. I say it again that golf's so-called powers - NGF, USGA, PGA, NGCOA do almost nothing - zero, zilch, notta- to create new golfers. I'm saying that loser cities should learn to manage their golf courses in the same fashion as Village Links. If they did, everyone will be happy.
LOSER LOSER LOSER!
A community that owns and operates a golf course proudly is showing the world that their town is a great place to live. Like the public parks, swimming pools, skate board parks, hockey rinks, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, libraries, public transportation systems, emergency systems, etc., etc. the golf course is a part of what makes a complete community. Loser cities close their public golf courses. Loser cities have no library, no museums, and no parks. I mean, after they close the golf course what goes next?
Who wants to live in a community that has nothing?