New Castle News

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September 7, 2013

Sylvan Heights course suffers under the city

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

I have been involved in golf since I was 10 years old.

I have managed golf stores and country clubs in the tri-state area.

I am not sure what golf course in the area would not be in great shape this year, after all of the cool weather and rain.

Golf courses are expensive to run because it is a six-month season; skilled labor, equipment and chemicals are expensive.

There are 40 golf courses in a 20-mile radius of New Castle. Sylvan Heights could be special with its convenient location and good layout. It just does not compare to the courses in the 20-mile area.

For $50, I would rather play at Oak Tree or Kensington, courses that not only have a great challenge but unmatched facilities.

Sylvan Heights has not had any major course improvements for 25 years.

Oh, I forgot the dredging of two ponds this spring and improving the cart shed. That does nothing to increase sales.

As for “great shape,” the frog pond on hole 16 and 17 is a disgrace. When I played there last, I counted more than 100 dead trees and 60 stumps that need to be removed. The club house is falling apart.

The problem is it is city owned. A city that has many problems. A mayor who would rather use $1.25 million to buy a downtown building and give it away.

What happened to the $1.5 million in gas money the city received? That money would have gone a long way for the parks and golf course.

Council should seriously consider major changes before it is too late. I would love to own a great golf course like Sylvan Heights, but I guess I will keep playing golf somewhere else. It is really sad.

John S. Gennock

Savannah Gardner Road

Shenango Township

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