Budget cuts force city of Flint to close three courses indefinitely

The City Of Flint, Michigan announced this week that it will close three municipal golf courses through June in order to save money, the Flint Journal reported.

The city will close Kearsley Lake Golf Course, Pierce Park, and executive course, and the 9-hole Mott Park for an indefinite period, but to open no sooner than the end of June. It will keep one course open – the 27-hole Swartz Creek Golf Course.

The city is facing a projected $8 million deficit at the end of the fiscal year, and city officials have said the golf courses have been in the red for at least the past several years.

Some say the golf courses are a potential money-maker, while others say the city shouldn't be in the golf business.


This is a shame to see. The City of Lansing MI has shut down two of their courses and now Flint. There are some really tough times ahead in Michigan. However the thing that really upsets me, is that everytime a municipal course comes into the spotlight, there is a group of people whining that governmental agencies should not be in the golf business. This is ridiculous! Municipal golf is a part of our culture and way of business. If it was not for these municipalities promoting the game of golf since the 1920's, this game would not be what it is today, nor would thousands of the mom and pop courses around be in business today. Muni's & country clubs were the majority of the courses in the country in the early half of the twentith century. The communities they were embedded in are better off because of their exsistance. They are the ones that were taking all the risks and staying the course thru tough times. Why should they have to get out of the business now? Due Diligence people. Municipal organizations have every right to continue promoting the game of golf and either providing an affordable entry level avenue for the game, or a financially responsible means of protecting the greenspace entrusted to them for the citizens of their community.

I agree to some extent with the post Feb 10, 10:54 am GMT. To the extent municipal courses served as an entry level facility -- YES then it is growing the game for all. However, since the end of the 90s, the golf industry has slowed in growth rate and there have been more course closings than new courses in the past few years. The newest municipal golf courses have been renovated to come up to the level of quality course conditions comparable to the best daily fee and resort courses. This is unfair and then puts the government course in direct competition with the private sector golf course -- and more than not, can charge much less in greens fees. Government cannot do better that the private sector in providing competitive products & services. The impact of government getting into the business of golf will always be wrong, unless private sector does not or cannot provide such public services -- such as a beachfront park, picnic pavilions, ball fields for little league (and senior leagues), boat ramps, zoos, dams, flood controlling structures forming lakes for recreation, pools, libraries, arenas, open areas for walking/jogging, dog parks, the list goes on and on. However, golf courses that have deficit budgets (meaning the taxpayer is funding) provide services for the minority 10-15% of the public who do not and may never play golf. In addition, the non-golfer taxpayer will not be allowed on the golf course just to look around and walk around the golf course they help fund. Let's be fair to the taxpayer for a change!

The courses bring in most of the city's revenue. The only reason the city's courses are in the red are because the former mayor mis-managed the the entire city. The new mayor is only focusing on the right now and not looking into the background. The former mayor saw conflict of interest because he owned Sugarbush course and so to get business to his course, he mis-managed the city's. Simply put, the courses should not be closed.

Add new comment

If you enjoyed this article and would like to sign up for a FREE digital subscription, click here!