Golfers Left Scrambling For Places To Play

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(Memphis) At least four city owned golf courses are shut down for the winter.

That has golfers scrambling on a beautiful day like this to find an open course.

Some city council members are searching for a way to re-open the courses in two weeks. 

On this 60 degree day at the Whitehaven Links, there is not a golfer anywhere.

“I keep the clubs with me just in case. You know how Memphis weather is you might have a chance to play anytime,” said Lavorn Smith, Golfer.

However, he found some of his favorite golf courses closed, including The Links at Whitehaven.

“I can't find a golf course open today. It's a beautiful day about 60. Perfect golfing day and nowhere to play,” said Smith.

The city shut down Whitehaven, Pine Hill, Riverside and Davy Crockett because they say it’s too expensive to keep them open during winter months.

The closure caught some golfers by surprise.

One of those turned away today, pro-wrestler, Reggie B. Fine, known more for what he does in the ring than on the fairway.  

“I don't wrestle as much as I used to but I play a lot of golf. I love it. I've been playing 20 years. I'm no good but I've been playing a long time,” laughed Fine.

The courses that are closed have some of the most affordable green fees but the city says they lose money.

Council member Ed Ford, Jr. says the numbers aren’t adding up.

He says information shows the 9 hole Whitehaven course in his district is losing more money than some 18 hole courses.

He’s asking for an audit and doesn’t believe public courses should have to show a profit.

Some players don’t either.

“They're supposed to be open for the community to come out and have fun. As far as making money, we pay taxes to have golf courses open,” said Smith.

The city council will take up this issue again in two weeks.

Councilman Joe Brown told me he has a big group of golfers promising to play every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Whitehaven to help boost revenue there.

Also, the council is considering increasing golf cart rentals and user fees for those who live outside Shelby County to raise revenue.