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Alameda Golfers Reprimand Alameda City Council

By Erica Madison

During a four hour City Council meeting to discuss the closing of the MIF Albright Par Three Golf Course, Senior and Junior golfers expressed their disappointment with Alameda City Council.

The Alameda high school golf team came to the meeting and spoke.

“The MIF course is a great course for all junior golfers. Golfers will lose the ability to play short games.”

Several junior golfers spoke about how easy it was to play on the MIF.

“Its good for improving game play.”

“An 18 hole course will discourage new golfers.”

David Hamilton, the former president and chairman for the Community Golf Committee: “Splitting the golf course is a bad idea.”

According to Hamilton the south course hosts the most popular amateur tournaments in California, and adding the nine hole course will hurt tournament play.

A lot of citizens were asking the council to make a more informed decision before closing the MIF.

“The Alameda Golf  Club has 1300 members playing $1000 courses mostly in Alameda. Before deciding to close the MIF, the City of Alameda should have contacted the local college, Alameda Golf Club and Junior Golf Club. This is not what the community wants,”  said Al Wagner.

Many people were upset that no  one within the community was called to give input.

“I was appalled by this discussion, said Jill van Winkle.

“I’m appalled; because each month I was told we were within budget. Somewhere something went terribly wrong.”

Ms. van Winkle urged Council to reject “the phony baloney numbers”.

“You will lose money by shutting down the MIF”, said van Winkle.

Part of the problem with moving the MIF to the south course is that junior golfers will hold up regulation players.  For senior citizens the exercise value of the MIF will be eliminated by creating a eighteen whole course on the south course.

“Part of the joy of playing the MIF course is to get exercise, having a golf cart to get around the south course defeats the whole purpose,” said van Winkle.

van Winkle advised the City Council to talk with the City Attorney, before deciding to close the MIF.

“If you take away a city park, you have to replace it with a new public park with substantially the same amenities and improvements according to section 2212 of the city charter.”

Finally van Winkle warned the City Council of the danger junior golfers faced on the south course.

“You haven’t surveyed the community. Mixing regulation players and junior players is dangerous, because people can get hurt.”

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