Golf course to possibly shrink

Story by Lauren Breithaupt

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The Baldwin Golf Association proposed a five-year lease plan to the Baldwin City Council Oct. 5 so it can continue to make improvements to the golf course and ensure the course remains a part of the city.

The Baldwin Golf Association has leased the 62 acres of land from the city on a yearly basis, which has prevented the golf course from making any major improvements.

“Since we have a one-year lease, we feel like we are always at a roadblock when we sit down and start to think of new things,” Steve Wilson, president of the Baldwin Golf Association, said.

At the Baldwin City Parks and Recreation meeting Oct. 6, the city presented the parks and recreation master plan created by Bartlett and West engineers. The company proposed the idea that portions of the golf course may be converted to soccer fields in the future.

“We would not clear out the golf course as a whole,” Darron Ammann, architectural engineer from Bartlett and West, said. “It would just be a more compact golf course. It would not be a super long course, but it would still function as a golf course.”

Wilson said he is concerned because the golf course is already small now, and taking away more of the course might eliminate the golf course and much of its other uses.

The golf course has a variety of uses, such as a cross country track for the Baker and Baldwin High School cross country teams, physical education classes at Baker, community fundraising events and youth golf clinics. Baker students also are allowed to play for free because the university pays annual fees to the Golf Association.

Adam Gotsche, graduate assistant golf coach, said he uses the golf course as a place to go and just hang out with his friends. He said he would be disappointed if, in the future, part of the golf course was turned into soccer fields.

"There are not as many sand greens courses left in Kansas," he said. "By taking away some of the course they would just be eliminating another (sand green course) for soccer fields that they already have."<br/>The city council will be deciding if it will grant the five-year lease to the golf association.The city council will be deciding if it will grant the five-year lease to the golf association.
The city council will be deciding if it will grant the five-year lease to the golf association.

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Golf course to possibly shrink