The city of Dayton today reopens Community Golf Club after a coronavirus-related hibernation, which comes a week after the city announced it is permanently closing its two other golf centers.
Some local golfers say they are pleased Community is back in action, but they are still mourning the loss of Kittyhawk Golf Center and Madden Golf Course.
Dayton’s three golf centers were cheap, compared to other options in the area, and the two that have been shut down were fun and will be missed, some golfers say.
“I always liked Kittyhawk best,” said Charlie Campbell, 77, who lives downtown. “Madden always seemed in the best condition of the courses … and Community the worst.”
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Today, the city of Dayton reopens Community Golf Club for the first time since it was closed in late March due to the pandemic.
The city says it is modifying golf operations to try to keep visitors safe, and players are being asked to wear masks when in common areas and keep six feet apart from other people.
Gaps between tee times have been increased, and golf carts are being limited to one person only.
High-touch offerings have been removed from courses, like ball washers, bunker rakes and water fountains.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure our golfers and staff are protected,” said Robin Williams, Dayton’s director of Recreation and Youth Services. “We want to encourage residents to come out and enjoy the course, but while you are, it’s imperative that you stick to the new safety precautions we have in place.”
On May 7, the city of Dayton announced it is permanently closing Kittyhawk and Madden to cut costs.
Dayton’s golf division has lost money for years, requiring general fund subsidies, and a consultant concluded its facilities needed up to nearly $10 million in investments to remain viable and competitive.
Community is the only city-owned golf center that makes money, and Dayton commissioners this week approved using any net revenue from the facility for recreational activities.
The city expects Community to produce a small surplus of less than $10,000 on a good year. Community’s budget is about $1.3 million, officials said.
Kittyhawk had a fun driving range, two putting greens, practice hole and sand trap, while Community only has a driving range and one putting green, said Campbell.
Campbell said he’s glad the city at least kept one golf facility. But he said he’ll miss staff at the centers , because players get to know them fairly well. The golf division is reducing its staff from 13 to about five employees.
Campbell said he thinks golf is dying, because most players he knows are older and their kids and grandchildren do not play the sport.
John Hausfeld also said he is sad and disappointed Kittyhawk and Madden are gone.
Golf opportunities definitely will be hampered because of the loss, Hausfeld said.
His father, Clarence Hausfeld, was an avid golfer at city facilities, and when he died in 1996, his family planted a tree in his memory at hole 5 on the Eagle course at Kittyhawk.
John Hausfeld and his family visit his tree every year to plant flowers, till the soil and enhance the course.
They wonder what will happen now that the facility is closed for good.
The city says golf pass holders were mailed a packet that outlines the process for a refund due to the closure of two courses.
Players who want a refund have until May 29 to submit a request. Refunds will be prorated based on the number of rounds played this year, the city said.
Official league play has been tentatively scheduled to begin on June 22. The city says it will accommodate leagues and volunteers from both Kittyhawk and Madden.
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