ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander says the city council will discuss the city’s involvement with the Elizabethton golf course later this week.
Right now, the golf course is managed by an outside company called Hampton Golf. The city owns and operates the golf course.
In a recent city council meeting, frustrated golfers expressed concerns with the course’s maintenance such as weeds, dead spots in the grass and downed branches.
Some people want the city to take over the management of the golf course.
“[The Elizabethton golf course is] usually in beautiful condition,” golfer Pam Rindfleisch said. “It needs much better maintenance this year.”
Golfers at the course say the biggest issue they see is with the weeds, which make it difficult to play.
“The clover does make it a challenge to get out of the rough, especially when it’s wet,” said golfer, Barb Hafford.
“If you can’t move your ball on the fairway, it can land in a tuft of grass and it would be very difficult to hit it out of there,” added Rindfleisch.
Interim manager of the golf course, Stephen Frye, was at the course on his day off checking in with maintenance, hitting a few holes with other golfers and asking them questions about how the course could be improved.
He says the Bermuda grass in the fairways has struggled from a drought in the fall and winter of 2022.
He says they’re doing their best to keep up with the maintenance of the course, especially while using the set budget given to them by the city.
“Maintenance out here is always an issue,” said Frye. “I mean, we’re dealing with an outdated irrigation system on top of cart paths that have needed re-worked for years now. It’s the little things that pile up that you fight day to day.”
These are issues that were found in the audit conducted in 2018 before Hampton Golf took over management.
Golf Course 2018 Audit by Clarice on Scribd
Mayor of Elizabethton, Curt Alexander says minimal financing from the city is likely the reason that big improvement projects haven’t been started.
“It’s hard to justify millions of dollars for an irrigation system at the golf course when our school system has needs, our water lines themselves, our roads need paved,” said Alexander.
City council members will discuss the city’s next steps with the golf course at their annual retreat on Friday.
The Elizabethton city council meets again on June 8 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Elizabethton City Hall.