Bureaucrats versus public golf in Memphis
By Torleif Sorenson on 12/5/12
On Tuesday evening, the Memphis City Council proposed permanently closing the Links at Whitehaven, a course formerly known as the private Whitehaven Country Club, which the city acquired in 2006 for public access. This accessible course plays to roughly 3,000 yards, while the clubhouse includes a ballroom that is used for group and corporate meetings, weddings, and banquets.

Three reasons the proposal is controversial:
  • With a weekday 9-hole rate of just $9, the course is more affordable than most other courses in the greater Memphis area.

  • Closing the course will save only $42,099 dollars – an amount that could be saved simply by eliminating a government bureaucrat position.

  • Whitehaven is located in a south Memphis area heavily populated by taxpayers who happen to be black – a fact that was not lost on city council member Joe Brown:

    "All these golf courses that you are talking about closing in the African American community — that's just not right."
At least two feasible ideas could solve this problem:
  1. Eliminating a single bureaucratic position in city government would offset the $42,000 savings.

  2. The PGA Tour could step in and assist with updating the course, including funding a First Tee of Memphis facility at Whitehaven. Currently, TFT of Memphis has one facility on the north side, on Firestone Avenue.
Plenty of precedent exists for the second option; PGA Tour star Loren Roberts not only contributed thousands of dollars to TFT of Memphis's forerunner, the Mid-South Junior Golf Association, but he later established a scholarship fund.

We all know that Tiger Woods has suffered some self-inflicted PR wounds in the last few years; he could help preserve Whitehaven and boost his reputation by peeling off a few spare thousand to save Whitehaven. And if he wants to take the Davis Love III approach, he could also boost his fledgling golf architecture business by making some beginner-friendly design improvements at Whitehaven, adding bigger and better practice facilities at the same time.

And Tiger, if you have any doubts about the value and worth of Whitehaven... talk to Joe Brown.

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Image via City of Memphis

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
Why not run a fund-raising tournament at the course for the course? Or increase the greens fees to $10, or a little more ($15), to make up the difference?
guzzlingil says:
@mjaber....cause that makes too much sense....they should still fire a city work or 2 or 4.
mkmz says:
why not fire the city worker ( BUREAUCRAT )that put this up,I bet his position would fund the $42,000. And pay four more at the club...................Lets ask him/her to close there golf club and see what, UP IN ARMS THAT WOULD BRING IN FROM THEM./???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
mmontisano says:
didn't you just see the article about everything Tiger does with the Tiger Woods Foundation and schools? isn't that enough? granted, there is always something more someone can do, but damn, he can't do everything.
falcon50driver says:
Obama says the rich should pay more taxes. Tiger would be a good place to start collecting from, he obviously has more than his fair share of money.
mjaber says:
@guzz... I forgot we were dealing with a government. I should have realized common sense has no place in government.
[ post comment ]
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