Thursday, March 1, 2012

What would a smaller McIntire Golf Course be like?

The ongoing discussion of what will become of the eastern portion of McIntire Park (assuming the controversial McIntire Road Extended obliterates several holes of the existing nationally registered historic course suggests maintaining a smaller golf course. Perhaps golf having 18 holes as a standard round was selected to allow various sized courses. McIntire Course is nine holes so one would do the circuit twice to play 18 holes. I suppose Charlottesville Parks and Recreation could promote a six-hole golf course where one would do three rounds to play 18 holes. Apparently there are precedents for having six hole courses. Google "six hole golf course" and you will finds some interesting golf history and even arguments for having six hole courses.   I personally would like to  see the historic course be preserved and the McIntire Road Extended project cancelled.  Why destroy a valuable cultural and historic resource when the proposed road will likely cause more traffic problems than it is supposed to solve.

But, why stop at six? Perhaps planners could opt to put in even a smaller number of holes and allow the park to house a proposed botanical garden, parking, you name it. My vote it to simply leave the park as it is and provide some time-sharing of that facility for kite days, picnic days, and other community access days. Building a road through a historic park was a bad idea when suggested over 50 years ago, and is a bad idea today.    

1 comment:

Tree hugging said...

Peter, I think a big assumption is that if the Parkway wasn't built that somehow the course would stay... That's not a given.

Keep in mind, for as long as the parkway has been debated there have also been many master plans calling for the removal of the golf course with something that'd be used by more people. Also, park staff have also made clear that the master planning process is not dependant on the building of the road. Even if the road isn't built, there will be no change in the master plan, except for perhaps having some discussion then about how to use the additional space.

I will say though that I support the botanical garden, but I'm not opposed to a much smaller course sharing the space. I think though that the planners made a big mistake in initially showing a no botanical garden option without showing a no golf course option. As I pointed out it the last meeting this whole deal about giving the golf course (and one particular NGO) special status is riddled with holes. (Tell that to the Monticello Bird Club...) For that matter the SOCA advocates have just as much claim as First Tee, if not more. It comes down to what is the best use of the space, and that should be the deciding factor regardless of building a road or not.

Besides, it was clear at the last meeting that the Golfers had no intention of keeping the "historic" course, but fully intend to upgrade it.