City will not close golf courses after battle with supporters - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City will not close golf courses after battle with supporters

(WMC-TV) - Sometimes when you fight city hall -- you win.

Golfers and neighbors are celebrating a victory after a fight to keep their community golf course open.

The people in support of keeping the Davy Crockett Golf Course open were relentless in the pursuit.

The city met them halfway and the greens will now stay open in the spring and summer months.

A debate over its possible closure escalated Tuesday when dozens of citizens showed up at city hall to fight for its survival.

Golfers say the greens are a melting pot.

"We have black golfers, we have white golfers, we play together," said Margaret Beaver.

During June budget talks, the Memphis City Council voted to close its Whitehaven course.

After crunching the numbers, the administration came up with another proposal last week.

"I am merely looking at the efficiencies we create and where we get the most bang for our buck," said Director Janet Hooks, City of Memphis.

The city proposed closing the Davy Crockett course instead of the one in Whitehaven because they say it cost more taxpayer dollars to keep Davy Crockett open.

After persuasive arguments from supporters of the course Tuesday, Director Janet Hooks found middle ground.

Now, both golf courses will stay open but not during the winter months.

"Many golfers do not play during the winter time anyway. So we're trying to save money," said Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins.

Still, Councilman Kemp Conrad would prefer keeping only a few courses.

"Over half the people that play are repeat players from Arkansas, and Mississippi. While we're happy to have them in Memphis, they're not spending hotel nights here and at restaurants. Basically, Memphis taxpayers are subsidizing people that don't live here to play golf," said Conrad.

The Whitehaven clubhouse only, by the way, will stay open year round because it is a revenue stream.

But if next year's budget is as tight as the city expects, a similar battle can be expected.

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