It was with some sadness that I read of the Jones Golf Course closure a couple of weeks ago. While not unexpected, it still is headshaking due to the reasons given. We all understand that the course has had flooding problems over time but making this the sole reason for revenue problems and the primary reason for closure is misguided.
The true reason for the problems, not only with Jones, but the entire golf operations, centers around the long-term mismanagement of the operations and a flawed master plan developed/implemented in 2000. The mismanagement issues are too large to detail in this space but center around the city not listening to the local golfing community, and instead to consultants.
The repurposing options for the area should include some golf options, as the majority of the infrastructure is currently in place. These options could include improved junior programs/facilities, improved practice/teaching facilities and possibly a different course configuration.
The revenue problems will continue beyond the closure of the Jones facility as golfers in the city have many other options for play at better rates, higher quality facilities and the belief that the city doesn’t really care about providing value to the golfing community.