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Thread: Do we really need more golf courses?

  1. #1

    Do we really need more golf courses?

    Here comes the rant... 8-{

    First it was East Lake and now this - do you really need a golf course to build a major "multi-use" community? Is golf really that big that people want to keep wasting more of our land on it? Couldn't we use that land for housing & real parks instead of wasting on the whims of the rich?

    What do you guys think?

    http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/met...2/11perry.html

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    G

    I see you are a little closer to the situtation than I, but a reading of the article suggests quite a diverse community, with retail, open space and housing. From the description, it appears to be a rather marked improvement from the current condition. And, in an urban setting, this might prove to be a remarkable amenity.

    And the Housing Authority is running the show? Should not that concern you as well.

    On the subject, I sort of hear you on your reluctance to accept the Golf Course community thing. Here in NVA they are springing up everywhere because of a huge market demand. Yes they are exclusive usually and often not mixed with any othere uses at all. That is to thier detriment.

    Good topic to discuss, but I would try to keep the class warfare stuff out of the discussion as it is unnecessarily antagonistic.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    We build golf course estates for residents over 55, and we have to turn buyers away. People are dying to move into these communities.

    Most of the residents, if retired, play golf every day, and it oftne takes weeks to get a tee time at one of these courses if you are an outsider.

    We only build "Arnold Palmer" courses, which means he approves all of them, and they are more or less championship courses.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Full Disclosure:

    I am a member of a golf course community Golf Club. Don't live there though.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Heck yeah, build them! How else can you permanently preserve open space (albeit not "natural" open space), drive economic development, and enhance quality of life all at the same time?

    I'd rather build another golf course than another cemetery any day.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I hate using open space preservation money for golf courses though. A local municipality did this and i think it is totally wrong.

    Most people do not or can not afford to play golf. So why should their taxes be spent on building golf courses. I'd rather see a park IMHO.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I agree with you Mike. But on the other hand, Milwaukee County runs some of the best municipal courses in the country. You can play 9 holes for $10 in most places.

    Washington County WI has the #2 rated public course in the country too. Also very affordable - cheaper than a movie!

    Not bad when you can only get out an play 9 months of the year, eh?

  8. #8

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    You have a point, Mike. I have to admit I have no interest in golf, and I am bothered by our lack of neighborhood parks because all of the impact fees are going to pay off our TWO municipal course.

    But, on the other hand, I don't have any kids playing baseball, I don't play soccer, and I don't have any children using playground equipment. Since these facilities, which dominate most neighborhood parks, have little value to me, I could make the same argument about neighborhood parks as well.

    Golf courses do serve a certain part of the community, and they enable portly people to wear clothing that is ALMOST as ridiculous as cyclists' spandex (Note: I myself am "stocky" and look ridiculous in spandex )

    I can't believe I am defending golf courses. Generally, I hate them for a variety of reasons (many expressed below)

  9. #9
    Yeah I don't want to get into debates on class issues over this (hey I'm just an undergrad) although I think everybody would like to see slightly more affluent residents in Atlanta in areas besides Buckhead and Virginia Highlands.

    Maybe we haven't reached golf course overload yet but I would just hate to see too many resources (mainly money and water) spent on keeping up a golf course when those same resources could be better spent on providing services for nearby communties. Then again East Lake does host PGA tournaments, which is nice to see in an intown community. But that was done by private developers - I'm not sure I like the idea of the Housing Authority getting themselves mixed up with such an idea. So in conclusion you can come up wth all the golf course community proposals you want to but don't expect me to like 'em.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    My Question Is...

    This is a development trend sweeping the nation, and what will happen in say 20-25 years when No more Tiger Woods, etc... And golf takes a down turn in popularity. These courses are popping up left and right... I've had this discussion with our head planner who happens to be an golfing MANIAC! I have some problems with golf courses, but on a whole they beat a lot of other land uses. It could be worse... It could open up the land to parks or maybe other uses as time passes... Probably In-fill development! Its all about $$$, can't leave any open space!!!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    I feel you'll always have people playing golf, I don't think that's an issue. But, say you do end up with too many golf courses. That land would be pretty easy to build on or transform to parks, etc.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    On the up side....

    A Slice of Golf History

    This is a slice of golf history I thought you might enjoy. I never knew why there were 18 holes before this. Why do full-length golf courses have 18 holes, and not 20, or 10 or an even dozen? How many of you golfers know the answer to this one? During a discussion among the club's membership board at St. Andrews in 1858, one of the members pointed out that it takes exactly 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch. By limiting himself to only one shot of Scotch per hole, the Scot figured a round of golf was finished when the Scotch ran out. Now you know!

    DeVuono - think of them as early stoners.
    el Guapo is a former 20 year +/- urban planner (just like you) who thought becoming an attorney was a good life choice.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I stated earlier i am a big golfer and again think the rise in gc communities are a market reality.

    But I find it interesting that a major theme in others comments is this conversion to parkland or a "better" use as parkland.

    Remember these courses have owners, any future conversion for "public" will require a great deal of the taxpayers money.

    Its a great investment and good use of public funds, but there appears to be an asumption that it could just "become" public open space.
    Not so easy.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian dbarch's avatar
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    I'm the first to say that I don't think metro Atlanta needs more golf courses. (Of course, the only time I swing a golf club, I'm aiming between the blades of a windmill and trying to avoid the tail of a large concrete dinosaur.) Unfortunately, the area under discussion has been blighted for many, many years. A mixed-income community centered around a golf course is so much better than the existing landfill, abandoned industrial property and poorly-maintained public housing, that I find it hard to criticize this project.

    Would I prefer to see a public park, open to all? Sure! Do I hate the idea of a golf course, with all of its necessary lawn care chemicals further polluting the Chattahoochee River? Of course! Still, I like the idea of grossly poorly used land with an an existing MARTA (public transit) rail station becoming a vibrant community. Could it become "a little piece of suburbia" in the city? I hope not, but I guess I'm willing to take that risk.

    The real point of the question, to me, is how much "downside" we are willing to take with redevelopment. Any change involves some level of compromise. Maybe the focus should be on how to ameliorate the effects of gentrification, how to encourage and/or regulate the design to be urban rather than suburban, how to require access to some open space, etc.

  15. #15
    I think dbarch summed things up pretty well on this issue. Only time will tell how "successful" this project will be, which can greatly be influenced by the efforts of surronding communties to embrace newcomers while pushing for better transportation & social services.

    I just don't want the city,developer, or AHA to waste too much money on the golf course part.

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