Re: “Sumner golf course in the rough again” (TNT, 1-8).
In response to Sara Schilling’s excellent article on the demise of Sumner’s municipal golf course, the prospect of the course ever being run in the black is unlikely. Most local public golf courses, especially those within a 10-mile radius of any Boeing plant, live off revenue from evening nine-hole golf leagues and their weekend tournaments.
The green fees collected from simultaneous league groups sent off the front and back nines and income from drinks, hot dogs and buckets of range balls should easily cover course expenses.
So why is this not the case for Sumner Meadows? Simple, the course is just too tough. The average league hacker does not enjoy the experience of a dour Scottish links-style course. Too many balls are lost in the ditches, the demanding rough and hidden burns embedded in the course design. With few trees, hackers are exposed to the elements of wind and rain that can destroy a fun time.
Back in the 1990s, golf was chic. Now most public courses are fighting to survive. But to do so requires that a course appeals to many. Sumner Meadows does not.
Sumner officials would be wise to unload the course as soon as possible and plead for forgiveness from their taxpayers for a bad financial venture entered into almost 20 years ago. Until then, it will only get worse for Sumner taxpayers.