I have been playing golf in Cedar Rapids since 1966. I would sneak out of Jefferson High School with some of my fellow teachers — even the principal — and hustle over to Jones for nine.
The trees were small sprouts, gophers were huge and number 8 green was a death trap full of mosquitoes making the putting experience risky business. To this day, I play with my friends and Pinky’s group on Tuesdays. Whenever I have the chance, I play promoter in other cities and leave people speechless when I discuss the golfing experience in Cedar Rapids, including the cost and the courses’ accommodation of all playing skills.
Unfortunately, the city politicians have sounded the alarm due to their perceived lack of play and cost of maintaining the courses. I do not pretend to understand the nuances of finance. I will have to admit I was intrigued by an editorial discussing how municipal finances are moved around and manipulated to promote a certain point of view, such as closing courses, turning the whole operation over to private enterprise (a Branstad favorite), or blaming Mother Nature.
I am thrilled that Jones has remained open. Most golfers know that the “powers to be” are waiting for Prairie Creek to do its number on the back nine at Jones once more. The sane thing to do would be to let the back nine return to the wild when the next flood arrives. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater? We will see.