City Golf Courses On The Chopping Block

Friday, May 4th 2007, 10:52 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa County is going green. Tulsa's mayor announced earlier this week that about half of the city's golf courses would be shut down because of budget cuts. Leaders in Tulsa County say they want to team up with the city to find a way to keep them open. They don't know how they're going to do it, but the county wants to do it, and the News On 6’s Steve Berg reports that alone is good news for golfers.

It's safe to say Ray Maggard and Johnny Thompson are fans of the Mohawk Park Golf Course. Maggard has been golfing there for 44 years.

"Johnny and I are pretty regular customers here, so it's just our second home," said Maggard. "It's a good place for old men to get out of the way of their wives."

There's no avoiding the city's budget woes though, and the plan right now is to close nine holes known as Pecan Valley out of the total 36, as well as 18 of the 36 holes at Page Belcher across town.

"We love it. I hope they don't close it,” said Maggard. “Pecan Valley's got the best greens in town."

County Commissioner Randi Miller say nothing jumps out immediately that the county can do differently than the city, but for whatever reason, the county's golf courses don't seem to have the same budget woes.

"We have the employees and the groundskeepers and the golf pros, so there might be a way we can at least look at balancing the budget with taking on more responsibility of the golf courses," said Miller.

Maggard says the county does a good job.

"They do. They're always in good shape and well-maintained and challenging,” said Maggard. “I like South Lakes real well."

The county says golf courses are an important quality of life issue and are some people's only opportunity to play golf.

"I love the senior rates here,” said golfer Keith Olive. “They're excellent, $10 or $11. When I drive down from Bartlesville, you know it's gotta be reasonable or you know I wouldn't come down."

"But I hate to see them close any of them. Golfers need courses to play on," said Maggard.

The ideas include everything from the county taking over the golf courses, to the city leasing the golf courses from the county, to a city-county partnership, like they have with the health department and the library.

They have to figure out something in six weeks. That's when the city's budget is due.

Watch the video: Some City Golf Courses May Be Closing Their Greens For Good