Don't be scared by golf upkeep costs -- Dan Smith

Don't be scared by golf upkeep costs -- Dan Smith

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Golf

Fifty-two million dollars is a big number. The State Journal calls it a “whopping” amount in its Jan. 14 article "Upkeep may cost tens of millions." That’s the number the Madison Parks Division says it needs to bring its four golf courses up to par.

But the report to a golf task force suggests that everything needs to be done quickly. Really?

Every city entity would like to make improvements, such as to streets, Monona Terrace, schools, Olbrich Gardens, the pool and police. Look around your house and add up what needs to be improved. At my house, it’s a "whopping" amount.

My advice to the task force: Don’t let the big numbers (or editorial cartoons by the State Journal's Phil Hands) scare you. Try something that doesn’t cost a dime: imagination.

Imagine a multi-use, year-round facility where the Odana clubhouse now sits -- a place to meet friends for lunch and in the dead of winter, hold a neighborhood meeting, offer a space for after-school programs, or watch your daughter get married.

Urban planners know that cities of the future need to have amenities that attract people with talent. Cities look to make their cities more attractive to seniors.

Let’s continue to improve Madison. Let’s use our collective imaginations to find ways to keep affordable, public golf part of Madison.

Dan Smith, Madison, chair, the golf sub-committee, Madison Parks Division

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