Grove Park golfers vow to fight course closure - - Jackson, MS

Grove Park golfers vow to fight course closure

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Some golfers in the Capital City are outraged about plans to shut down one of the city's two public courses. The Jackson city council is proposing the closure the Grove Park Golf Course and cutting staff to save money.

But members of the nearly 60 year old course vow to fight to keep the facility open.

"It really should be listed as an historical site," said Grove Park golfer John Crawford.

He's been playing at the course since 2003 and said each stroke is one steeped in Civil Rights history.

Pete Brown, the first African American to win a PGA tour event, learned to play here. The 57 year old course was created when black players were not permitted at the city's public course.

"This golf course was built to keep us from Sonny Guy Golf Course," said 25 year club member Carl Jones. "This is an African American historical site and to take this away from the community is to take this away from our own culture."

"Peter Brown was the first pro at Grove Park Golf Course, and that should be historical in itself," said Joseph Thompson who has been playing the course since 1978.

Now golfers. who say the course is poorly maintained and overpriced, plan to take their fight to the council.

"Something stinks. Everything seems to be done under the table," added Crawford."Something's going on over here. I don't know what it is. I don't know if this area is targeted for development."

Tuesday the Jackson City Council proposed closing the nine hole course and reducing staff after cutting $150,000.00 from the Parks and Rec's budget.

The 2016-17 proposed budget for Grove Park and Sonny Guy Municipal Golf Courses was $355,320.00 before the $150,000.00 cut.

City leaders said the balance of $205,320.00 for salaries and operational expenses made it impossible to operate both municipal golf courses.  

"I think it's shameful that they would decide to do such without even notifying the public or the neighborhood community," added Thompson.

Golfers plan to confront council members at Tuesday's meeting. The new budget takes effect Oct. 1st.

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