Your View: Guest Column - Golfers troubled by city response to fire

Mar. 18, 2013 @ 10:25 PM

BY DARIN BELL

As a lifelong resident of High Point, an avid golfer, a former city employee, and a taxpayer, I can not begin to express my disappointment with the City of High Point Administration and it’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Many of you may know, during the early morning hours on Monday, Jan. 14, the Blair Park Golf Course Clubhouse was severely damaged by smoke and flames from a fire that started in the grillroom.   Since that time, the staff has been relocated to a temporary trailer that will serve as the clubhouse until repairs are made and the clubhouse building can reopen.  Sadly, no workers have been present to begin or continue making repairs for over six weeks.
The temporary trailer has no running water and patrons, parents, and spectators are expected to use the temporary restrooms (port-a-johns) that remain unlocked and unsecured 24 hours a day.  This includes the women and children that come to watch and participate in middle and high school golf matches.  It should be noted that Blair Park Golf Course is High Point Central’s home course.  This is not only a sanitation issue, but a safety issue as well.
Several golf tournaments or outings have been canceled or turned away due to the conditions, including one that would have been organized by High Point University that would have resulted in thousands of dollars being made by the golf course.  The High Point Golf Association (of which I am vice president), which hosts the golf course’s annual Memorial Tournament is attempting  to begin play.  The Bud Kivett Tournament may have to have both rounds held at Oak Hollow Golf Course.  These two tournaments alone both routinely draw 150-175 golfers apiece, with the Bud Kivett drawing over 200 players as recently as last year.  This doesn’t include the High Point Seniors, the many local groups, and the groups and churches that travel to High Point to hold their outings and tournaments there.
It is as though the city doesn’t understand that they could be permanently losing some of its most avid and passionate golfers, the pro-shop may be losing some of its most loyal customers forever, and community and civic groups may decide to start holding their outings elsewhere.  As someone who plays 75 percent of their golf at Blair Park, the lack of action and careless attitude towards the importance of Blair Park is a slap in the face to all of us who consider it our home course.  It is completely unacceptable and we demand answers and action!
DARIN BELL
High Point
The writer is vice president of the High Point Golf Association.


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