In response to the guest column by Steve Andersen (“Cedar Rapids should get out of the golf business,” June 21), I feel the need to respond.
First, I agree with Andersen on closing Jones. It has been a money eater in the past and most likely will continue to do so. I disagree with the city getting out of the golf market and selling off Twin Pines for development. Twin Pines is a flat course suitable for high handicapped golfers and for kids. My boys grew up on that course and they both are very good golfers today. Without Jones and Twin Pines, golfers would need to go to the hilly Ellis course or drive east through Marion to get to Gardner.
According to Andersen, the city golf department has offered no real solutions to the $250,000 a year deficit in the past 10 years, so why would it not be money well spent to hire a consultant? We need an outsider to get to the root cause of the deficit and get it corrected, after all if your roof is leaking you don’t first repair the ceiling in the living room.
The city of Waterloo has three city-owned golf courses and appears to making it just fine (thanks to all of the Linn County cars in the parking lot). I played Hunters Ridge recently ($18 for 18 holes/including a cart) and there were more than a hundred kids out there taking golf lessens. Kids are the future of golf and the successful operation of the courses.