(Photo of Detwiler Park GC by Amy E. Voight, The Blade)
Unfavorable weather has coincided with transition from a management firm that was dismissed from its contract a year early, to leave golfers without options to play any of the city’s three courses as the week of May 6 began and no firm date for when public golf would be available this spring. Funding for new course maintenance equipment had also yet to be approved.
Tom Giovanoli’s weekly golf league at Collins Park Golf Course in Toledo Ohio is more than one month into its season, yet the league’s golfers haven’t played a single round, The Blade of Toledo reported.
That’s because Collins Park GC, where Giovanoli’s league has been playing once a week for the past three decades, hasn’t opened yet, The Blade reported. Neither have the other two courses owned by the city of Toledo, Detwiler Golf Course and Ottawa Park Golf Course. And as of May 6th, opening dates had not yet been scheduled for any of the three courses.
“Usually the courses are open around April 1,” said Giovanoli, who is president of the Old Pro League. “We were supposed to start [on May 9], but we’re probably not starting then.”
The municipal courses are under new management after the Toledo City Council voted in January to leave a 10-year contract with Master Golf Management Group one year early and hire a new company, The Blade reported. At that time, officials said that Master Golf Management Group was struggling with costs to maintain the properties and was unable to pay rent to the city.
The new management company, Davey Golf, a division of the Davey Tree Expert Co., officially took over on March 23, The Blade reported. City spokesman Ignazio Messina said the courses all need some work before they’ll be ready for play, adding that the recent rain hasn’t helped.
“We plan to open the courses as soon as the weather dictates and course conditions are conducive to an enjoyable round,” Messina told The Blade.
The city also needs to either buy or lease new equipment for lawn care and maintenance at the courses, Messina added—a funding request that has not yet been presented to city council for consideration.
All of the delays have left Giovanoli, and the 30 other golfers in his league, frustrated, The Blade reported.
“We understand its a nine-hole municipal golf course,” Giovanoli said of Collins Park, his home course. “We’re not asking for country club conditions, we just want it to be playable. To have nothing ready is just ridiculous.”
Giovanoli is worried that the previous management company left the courses in disrepair, The Blade reported, after watching them become run down and overgrown over the past few year. The last time he stopped by Collins Park, he told The Blade, it had not been mowed.
“It’s a shame to see the condition it’s in,” Giovanoli said. “We’re just hoping that there’s better things in the future for it.”
Messina told The Blade that officials are working with the new management company to open the three courses for the season and ensure they are maintained in good condition moving forward.
“The city of Toledo and Davey Golf are committed to the long-term sustainable success of each of the three municipal golf courses,” he said. “Every effort is being made to enhance the golfing experience for the guests of the golf course.”
A Davey Golf representative deferred a request for comment to city officials, The Blade reported.