ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Elizabethton City Council voted Thursday night to once again manage the city’s municipal golf course.
The city hasn’t managed the Elizabethton Golf Course for five years. Instead, it has been managed by Hampton Golf.
However, Hampton Golf has decided not to renew its contract.
Mayor Curt Alexander said that after recent complaints about the condition of the course, it was time for the city to manage it again.
“It’s not being maintained like it should be, you know, appearance wise, play wise,” Alexander said. “We’ve had quite a few complaints.”
In May, the annual East Tennessee Amateur golf tournament that was supposed to take place at the course was canceled due to the poor conditions.
The course’s golf pro, Stephen Wilson, also resigned over “attacking comments” regarding the course. Wilson recently came back to the club to try to improve the course.
“The greens took some damage prior to me coming back,” Wilson said. “We’ve been working pretty hard on that around the clock. A lot of the rough and the areas were overgrown, it was pretty high with grass. So we’ve been mowing nonstop daylight to dark, trying to get some of that and taken care of.”
Wilson, who is employed by Hampton Golf, said he also represents the City of Elizabethton since it’s the city’s course. He believes it is a good thing the city is taking control of the course.
“I think we’re in a good state right now to where we can make the improvements that we need to make to get it back to where it used to be,” he said.
The city will soon begin hiring for the jobs to keep up the golf course, including grounds supervisors, mowers, mechanics, and more.
“I think that’s what we’ve not had in the past, is they’re not all trying to make that the best course that we can make it here in Elizabethton so hopefully we’ll be able to do that,” Mayor Alexander said.
Wilson asks that the public be patient as they go through the transition.
“As we start laying the framework for the business side of it, come spring, we’ll be able to do a lot more on the course maintenance part of the process,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he would also love to being back the East Tennessee Amateur tournament.
“I’m pretty sure I would assume that Bill Greene would love to bring the tournament back if the course conditions are to the standards that they should be,” Wilson said.
The city will put the job postings up on Friday. Annual labor costs are expected to be around $300,000.