In the next few months, the Lake Oswego City Council will make an important decision on the fate of the Lake Oswego Municipal Golf Course. As long time users of the course, we want them to leave the course as is at 18 holes and reject the proposal to reduce the course to 9 or 12 holes.
The reduced-holes idea is part of an ill-advised plan to move the City Parks & Recreation Department to the golf course property and sell several acres of the present golf course to pay for the new building. The department is presently at Palisades School, but the Lake Oswego School District needs the building back, and Parks & Rec must move by July 1.
The department's needs have grown markedly in space used since moving to Palisades. There seems to be no end to the classes they offer. Hello LO in December listed several classes on Legos and others that I am sure appeal to a few people.
But the fact is that more Lake Oswego citizens use the golf course than any other Parks activity. Yet we will take the biggest hit. A higher percentage (about 9 percent) of our citizens than in other cities play at the Muni!
In a recent study session, the Council heard from many of us who oppose the course reduction. They also heard from a golf consultant that the present course is poor — that a new design will offer a better layout — and the most questionable suggestion that somehow fewer holes will speed up play.
Supporters of Parks & Rec also quickly point out that the course lost about $300,000 last year. We might argue with the figure, but we would also point out that last year was the worst weatherwise in years.
Lake Oswego Municipal Golf Course is a gem to thousands who have played it over the years. It is a challenging course for both beginners and folks like us who have played for decades. Experienced golfers who play the Muni inevitably find it both challenging and great practice for their game. It is also the home course for practice for the Lakeridge High golf team.
Golf has been played on 18 holes since the Scots perfected the sport. Let's continue to have our full 18-hole course.
This Citizen's View was submitted by Lake Oswego resident Roger Martin, a member of the Men's Senior Club at the municipal golf course. It was co-signed by Jeanne Rohrbacker, a member of the Women's Club, and 2017 Lakeridge High golf team members Andrew Pearson, Mitch Rose, Kevin Thropp, Liam Thropp, Timothy Lee and Avery Keating.