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Claremont still in the dark on future of golf course property

By Peter Weinberger

As the clock continues to tick towards shutting down the Claremont Golf Course on December 2, many residents, especially course customers, are still wondering what is really going on with the beloved city mainstay.

Yes, the Claremont University Consortium that manages the course has said it’s a financial issue, citing valid reasons such as water costs and waning customer support. But usually when a public landmark is shuttered, future plans are announced.

That’s not the case here, as the University Consortium has been as tight-lipped as a guard covering Fort Knox. Also, during the process of closing, it became clear there was not a real effort to work on keeping the course open. Given its legacy, other parties surely would have showed interest in the course, at least from a discovery point of view. But it never happened. My bet is there are plans for the property, residents just don’t know what.

Even just last week, the University Consortium continued to throw out numbers showing how course revenues were down, and how the course loses money every day. But have you seen the course lately? The condition has regressed to the point where it does not meet the standards of any golf course, anywhere. And this isn’t just in the last few months. It’s been going on for years.

Just look at the dirt driving range and the overgrown grass and weeds. The course has not been well cared for, not because of the hardworking staff that really cares about the course, but for lack of investment in upkeep. Why would people go? There are only so many of us who will go for nostalgic reasons.

Finally, why can’t the driving range and putting area remain open? Given the fact there is nothing left to water, expenses could be kept at a bare minimum. It would also allow the many community sports teams, Claremont High School golfers included, to practice there. This would be a great community gesture by the Consortium, because it impacts a lot of people, young and old. But again, there has been no interest and no community input.

I’ve always felt the The Claremont Colleges should be a strong partner with Claremont in making the city a better place to live for everyone. But when a city icon is closed out of the blue, with no apparent effort to save even a portion of it—and no information is given about future plans—it just feels like Claremonters have been left in the dark on a decision that really impacts their quality of life.

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