The Clapp Golf Course is just a city council vote away from being closed down, and it has some wondering what will happen with the affordable youth golf programs that kids from all over the city take part in.
For $20, any child above the age of 9 can go to the Clapp Course to get training on eight consecutive Tuesdays.
Youth golf volunteer Larry Smith says those prices are why this golf course means so much to youth.
“There are kids that you just get the feeling this would not be on their agenda if it were not affordable.” Smith adds. “We have kids that tell me they live on golf courses and then kids who say they have no where to practice.”
Volunteers like Smith are heavily outnumbered this year.
“It is filled up and maxed out,” says Smith. “People were having to come in and stand in line to register.”
Some kids have their own clubs, but for kids who can’t afford them, they get sized up for their very own set and a bag to take them home in.
But the time may just be dwindling for kids at Clapp.
“You know right now, I am trying to prepare to make lemonade out of lemons here,” says Smith.
A grimm outlook from City Councilman James Clendenin.
“We have a great opportunity with Clapp, but now that it is possible that it is going to be closed, we need to look forward to seeing what other golf course, what other things, we can do to make it possible for youth of all income ranges to participate in golf,” says Clendenin.
Clendenin says they are prepared to move the youth programs to MacDonald Golf Course but the future of the course itself, both he and Smith feel it would be a tough loss for all golfers.
Smith adds, “They take pride in it.”
“It is going to be a tough discussion to have,” explains Clendenin.
The East Mount Vernon Association will be holding a meeting at the Clapp Golf course on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Clendenin says both he and Mayor Jeff Longwell will be in attendance.