Published on May 15th, 2015 |3
AMPC endorses reversible 9-hole Bobby Jones Golf Course plan
On Monday evening, April 27, 2015, at the Bobby Jones Clubhouse, the city of Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) held its first community engagement meeting on the draft Master Plan presented to the city by the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy (AMPC) in January of 2014.
Over 200 people were in attendance at this kick off meeting. Citizens were invited to provide written comments on their opinions on areas such as golf, tennis, safety (both on and off the golf course), parking, flooding, connectivity, and other areas of interest with the staff of DPR.
The draft Master Plan on display at the meeting represents an effort by AMPC to address the many issues identified by the public and the neighboring communities during AMPC’s yearlong public outreach campaign in 2013 to provide quality greenspace that appeals to Atlantans with a wide range of interests.
Because the Bobby Jones Golf Course encompasses the majority of park space, many of the comments focused on the proposal to renovate the golf course.
Many participants at the meeting commented favorably on other elements of the draft Master Plan that address connectivity, safety, sustainability, environmental issues and preservation of the existing clubhouse with a new clubhouse near the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center.
For the renovation of the course, AMPC initially submitted to the City both an 18-hole option and a 9-hole option with a practice facility. Since that time, AMPC’s board concluded that the reversible 9-hole option with a practice facility is the better option, as this option provides the best experience to the greatest number of citizens and broadens the course’s demographic and age appeal.
• The proposed practice facility, which includes a full scale driving range with over 40 stations, a short game practice area and a “Wee Links” short
course for toddlers and young children, not only fulfills an unmet need but also provides an entry point into the game for beginning golfers, including women and youth looking to enter the sport.
• The innovative reversible 9-hole course created by Bob Cupp, a world renowned golf architect, provides a much improved and high quality golfing experience on the limited land available and represents a more efficient use of that land than other options.
• The reversible 9-hole design allows the course to remain open more days throughout the year through the use of detention areas and water features and insures that the range should be open despite periods of heavy rainfall.
• The reversible 9-hole design provides greater safety for golfers on the course and allows for safer and sustainable connectivity for walking, jogging and biking.
The total park space of Atlanta is 50 percent less than the park space of other comparable metropolitan areas. To help create a healthy, sustainable, and active community, Atlanta must fully leverage the greenspace in its existing inventory.
A newly renovated reversible 9-hole golf course with a practice facility enables the City to bring new participants into the game and lessens the barriers to entry, which are particularly high in Atlanta, with few public, in-town venues for practice and instruction.
The draft Master Plan presented by AMPC provides not only a reversible 9-hole course with a practice facility, but it also incorporates a youth golf area with chipping and putting greens for children and adults alike.
Fulfilling this vision will require a significant fund raising effort. A new reversible 9-hole plan that appeals to the broadest number of citizens will, in turn, create the greatest potential for the plan to become reality. Georgia State University and US Kids Golf have recently pledged substantial dollars towards the construction of a Reversible 9-hole and driving range at Bobby Jones Golf Course.
To learn more about this exciting development and read an in-depth review on the advantages of the reversible 9-hole design, click here. To review the draft Master Plan, click here. To support the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy in its ongoing mission to preserve, restore and renovate Atlanta’s third largest park, visit www.atlmemorialpark.org.
The City of Atlanta’s next community engagement meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2015. Details on time and location will be made available by the city of Atlanta’s Department of Parks & Recreation. Please plan to attend to show your support for Atlanta Memorial Park.
The Board and Officers of Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy
About the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy:
Founded in 2011, the Atlanta Memorial Park’s mission is to make Atlanta Memorial Park a beautiful, environmentally sensitive and sustainable park, accessible and connected to the neighborhoods and the city, by enhancing the park, tennis and golf experiences through a collaborative process of renovation, restoration and preservation.