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City of Dayton Closes 2 of 3 Golf Facilities


CarlSpackler

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This has been discussed extensively in the Ohio Golf group the last few days, but the city of Dayton, OH decided to close 2 of its 3 golf facilities in light of budget cuts needed from the coronavirus pandemic. Kittyhawk is where I’ve played the most because it is close to my house and Madden GC is also closing. The city has been subsidizing these courses out of the general fund and they require significant capital investment over the next 5 years. The city will keep Community GC open since it turns a modest profit. 

Jack Nicklaus played in the Ohio Open Championship at Madden in 1958. He didn’t win, and I wonder if Madden’s fate would be different if he had. Kittyhawk is home to Dayton Golf Hall of Fame. Hopefully they move it to Community GC. There are also many monuments to late golfers at Kittyhawk. There are 72 golf holes in our city that will no longer be played. Many people from our area learned to play at Kittyhawk’s Falcon (formerly Kitty) course. That’s where I took my kids when they were young. 

There is a significant piece of Dayton history that is dying. It is unknown what will happen to the land. There are thousands of golfers that need to find new homes. I imagine neighboring courses will benefit from this, but this is a significant loss to our city. 

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It is too bad that municipalities are now faced with tightening the belt.  Golf and parks are typically not seen as core responsibilities of government.

I am surprised that some golf management company couldn't run one of the facilities at no cost to the City.  Perhaps the infrastructure is so bad that no one wanted to commit to any improvements.

Our City courses (Ann Arbor) don't make money but then again, none of the other recreational facilities make money, either.  Adding to the course's costs are City wages & benefits for all workers and the courses are allocated a percentage of the overall City expenses ("overhead").

A few years ago there was a fairly serious effort to close one or both courses.  Fortunately it was pointed out that if the courses closed, the amount of "overhead" the courses paid would disappear and the City would actually have a larger deficit to fill.

Hopefully, the virus issue becomes history and someone figures out a way to re-open one of both venues.

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