The announcement that the Tipp City, Ohio course will close came after similar announcements from two courses in the city of Dayton, leaving six courses open in the county. The Cliffside closing was especially disappointing for the local Bethel High School, which has used the course for its boys and girls teams for 22 years and is now scrambling to find a home course for the upcoming fall season.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit local golf courses in Miami County, Ohio hard, Miami Valley Today reported, and now it has claimed another casualty. Cliffside Golf Course in Tipp City, Ohio announced that it would be closing permanently, according to a post on the course’s Facebook page.
“With a heavy heart we will be closing Cliffside permanently,” the announcement said. “We will keep this page open and hope everyone can understand. Very sorry for not responding to messages. We will announce some equipment sales and other information soon.”
Cliffside’s announcement follows those made by Kittyhawk Golf Center and Madden Golf Course in Dayton, Ohio, which both announced their closure earlier in May. The closure leaves six golf courses open in the county, Miami Valley Today reported: Miami Shores Golf Course and Troy Country Club in Troy, Ohio; Echo Hills Golf Course and Piqua Country Club in Piqua, Ohio; Homestead Golf Course in Tipp City, and Stillwater Ridge Golf Course in West Milton, Ohio.
Cliffside’s announcement was especially disappointing for the local Bethel High School, which has used the course for its varsity boys and girls golf teams for more than two decades, Miami Valley Today reported, but will now be without a home golf course for the upcoming fall season.
“It’s a sad thing for us,” said Bethel boys coach Brett Brookhart, who has coached the Bees for 27 years. “It’s the golf industry right now, and unfortunately we’ve been hit by this hard.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do, to be honest,” Brookhart added. “We’re trying to find somewhere to go.”
But Brookhart said he understood the economics behind the decision, Miami Valley Today reported.
“Unfortunately, with COVID, they were shut down for a couple months, and it just wasn’t financially feasible for them to continue to lease, I think,” he said. “They’ve had the course for sale, and no one seems interested. Golf’s just not a money-making business right now.
“You look at Kittyhawk down in Dayton—which would have been another possibility for us to go to—they’re completely shut down with 36 holes,” Brookhart said. It’s a tough situation we’re in right now.”
Shortly after seeing Cliffside’s announcement, Brookhart took to Twitter to see if anyone knew of a new place the Bees could call home, and he and Bethel girls golf coach Ed Quincel have sought out help through other channels as well, Miami Valley Today reported.
“I’m begging for somebody,” Brookhart said. “Ever since I’ve been there, we’ve been fortunate to have a golf course within three or four miles of the school. I’ve asked a couple in the area, and they’ve got too many teams already, or one doesn’t want high school teams there with leagues. We’re still trying to find something. I’m not sure what we’re going to do. Maybe we’ll just be road warriors.”
Added Quincel: “We’ve both made some contact with some courses to see if there’s even a remote chance. Even if it’s just one day a week, it would be helpful as opposed to nothing at all.”
But even if the school played all of its matches on the road, its teams would have nowhere to practice regularly, Miami Valley Today reported. And that would be especially tough on the girls’ program, which has made big strides in its relatively short existence.
“The tough thing is a couple years ago we got the girls program started, and Ed Quincel has got them going really good,” Brookhart said. “I’ve got more kids interested in playing this year, and basically nowhere to go.
Added Quincel: “It puts us in a really bad situation. So far, we have not been able to find anybody willing to take us on. And with me and the girls’ program, we’re just getting started here. Third year, we’ve got some pretty good golfers and no place to go right now.
“We could play all away matches, but then we still have the problem of where do we practice,” Quincel added. “Yeah, you can go to the driving ranges and putting greens, but it’s still not the same as actually getting out on the course and navigating your way through nine holes.”
In the end, the coaches say, the Bethel Bees are sad to see the place they’ve called home for so long close down.
“We’ve been at Cliffside 22 years, and we loved it there,” Brookhart said. “They’ve been so good to us. I drove out there last Friday just to see it, and it’s just sad, seeing three-feet-high grass everywhere and the greens just as bad. It’s a sad situation.”