The Gulf in Golf

Submitted by metroparks muse on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 21:20.

Not only does the PD take on golf, Page 1 - front and center But Scene pitches in (sorry) with a story on the changing face of highschool baseball.

And in Scene's C-notes a retired teacher piles on with:

"So young kids today say, ‘Look, I can make 20-some million in salary, and another who knows, 30, 40 million in endorsements. [Or you might win the mega millions] What the hell do I need to sit in the classroom for?’ "

Offering kids an extreme longshot for fame and success is a disservice - lottery tickets may hit the jackpot, but best to keep your day job.

So maybe the time and money and fuel we pour into golf lessons for inner city kids is not the answer. And if adults have chosen other ways to spend their time and money - well, that is their right. Perhaps we need to step aside from the commercial sports push and find other ways to engage people, young or old. Show them how to work with their environment, not fight against it.

Metroparks golf numbers continue to mirror national trends - all courses are down this year compared to the same period last year. Yet money was moved from West Creek to Manikiki for patio furniture. If fuel is too expensive for folks to afford golf, then maybe we should use less of their tax dollars for mowing (and save fuel for more critical needs.)

If the sport as a whole says they can live with different standards why can't CMP? "We need to change the perception that golf must be played on green grass. When that grass goes brown it's not dead, it's dormant. It's a natural cycle -- there are times of the year when the grass is going to be green, and other times when it's going to be brown,The demand of golf on financial and natural resources is overwhelming and the payback does not justify it. [Mike Hurdzan, Golf Digest]

Referring to Scioto in the 1950's, he says

"the greens would have been at about a quarter of an inch; today they're a tenth of an inch. The fairways would have been three-quarters of an inch; now they're less than half an inch. Back then there would have been fewer than 10 maintenance staff; now there's more like 40." 

    If others can close courses, why not Metroparks? The crowded Rocky River Reservation could use the uncrowded Mastic Woods as a conservation workshop. Students from local high schools would be involved in returning it to a natural area and tracking the restoration. Science projects, civic pride, environmental benefits. Cleaner air, cost savings as a bonus. With the economy seeking environmental leadership, students would be looking for jobs in a growing field. A real field of dreams, where a good walk is unspoiled

no mow on bad air days

Maybe as a first step, Metroparks could not mow on days when we have Air Quality Advisories. Just for a start - you know, regional cooperation and breathing and such...