Stroke of genius or out of bounds? Turn a city golf course into a regular park?

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Stroke of genius or out of bounds? Turn a city golf course into a regular park?

By Craig Smith. CREATED Jun 17, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For a lot of Tucsonans, golf is their game but now a group wants to shut down one of the golf courses in Tucson's Reid Park and turn the land into something more like New York's Central Park.

The city has two courses on the edge of Reid Park---Dell Urich and Randolph North.  A group called expand Reid Park wants to convert one of those courses into more park land for Reid park.

“Expand Reid Park”, the organization that wants to shut down one of the two Reid Park Golf Courses to expand Reid Park say Tucson deserves a large, lovely central park, like Central Park in New York...

Tzadek Greenberg says, “That could include a number of different amenities that could include outdoor cafes, that could include more enhanced workout stations for the citizens of Tucson.  It’s really up to the imagination."
Aerial photos from the group show the two courses are twice the size of Reid Park. If they can convince the city to use one of the courses for a larger park they see it as a real way to build a better community gathering place in the heart of the city.
But the courses have a history that reaches back more than 80 years and golfers like Bill Jewell do not want to see them go.

“It's a great golf course.  They finally got people in here that know how to take care of golf courses so..I think that'd be a big mistake."
Councilmember Steve Kozachik thinks closing a course would be a mistake too.  The courses are in his ward.

"On the east side is where we have the two courses out of our five that are actually making some money.  The Doubletree, La Quinta rely on the play over there from tourists and from the tournaments we're trying to re-energize through OB Sports.  Its bed tax money so it's a big deal to us to make sure those are still active and viable golf courses."
None of this has made it on an official agenda for any sort of council action but backers say what they're seeing on Facebook indicates a lot of support.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press