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Committee, company work on setting golf course rules


September 25, 2019

CLOVIS — Golf is a difficult game. Golf course regulations aren’t much easier sometimes.

The city’s parks, recreation and beautification committee worked with Touchstone Golf on Monday evening to hammer out basic course rules, and how to notify people, whether they play golf or walk around the course.

Keaton Aucutt, general manager for the Colonial Park Golf Course — operated by Touchstone as of May 1 — presented a list of 16 rules he acknowledged were often common sense, but have to be written somewhere on the basic notion of “you’d be surprised.”

The 16 rules include capping groups at four golfers, mandating players who stop after a hole to let a faster-moving group play through, requiring check-in at the golf shop prior to play, repairing ball marks and divots.

Three key rules included player responsibility for their shots and what they hit, bans on outside food and beverage and no non-golf running, walking or animal walking during open hours.

“Our thinking was to put it on the scorecard,” Aucutt said. “It’s nice, it’s cleaner. We’ve got huge (rules) signs right now.”

Committee members altered rules to allow for service animals, with certificate presentation required and a notation that pet owners need to pick up after their pets.

City Manager Justin Howalt said the signs were still needed on the course because not everybody would see the scorecards. As a compromise, he suggested having the sign include only the rules that apply to non-golfers, with all rules on the scorecards.

Everybody at the meeting acknowledged the course could never get 100 percent compliance, such as the occasional golfer with a flask in his bag, but getting 80 percent or higher was a good goal.

“We’re going to be consistent,” Aucutt said. “We’re going to follow the rules across the board. It’s gotten better, but it’s never going to fix itself.”

The committee also prioritized projects on its parks master plan.

• The following are short-term projects, with a timeline of 1-3 years: Replace/rehabilitate playgrounds at the rate of two per year, Potter Park concrete pad and shade structure, ongoing tree replacement, Goodwin Lake Trails improvements, Hillcrest Park shelters, Roy Walker Recreation Center bleachers, zoo fencing and ongoing exhibit upgrades, centralized meal site and adult day care program.

• The medium term projects with a timeline of 1-5 years: Zoo children’s playground, Hillcrest Park skatepark, Hillcrest Park amphitheater, Goodwin Lake Trails nature center and education building, Greene Acres Park bandstand, Pappy Thornton museum upgrades.

• Long-term goals with a timeline of 1-10 years: Wellness Center therapy pool and indoor Olympic-sized pool, youth soccer restroom facilities, two additional softball fields at Guy Leeder Softball Complex, Hillcrest Park pickleball/tennis courts, Veterans’ Park parking, land acquisition for future park development.

In other business at the meeting:

• Committee members gave the go-ahead for local artist Patsy Delk to have statues placed at the city dog park, zoo and Veterans’ Park recognizing service dogs.

The sculptures would be similar to items she has done for Curry County’s courthouse and events center, but dogs instead of cows and horses. She’s received sponsorships for what she sought approval, and is hoping to get a sponsor for a sculpture at Greene Acres Park.

Board members had concerns about vandalism. Delk said she guaranteed her work and would fix items if necessary, but notes she’s never had a vandalism issue with her sculptures for Curry County.

• The committee has a vacancy for a citizen who lives in District 4. The applicant would replace Cliff Kuchta, who opted against reapplying. The city is seeking submissions through Friday. Wilma Fulgham has volunteered to serve if needed, but would prefer an interested community member have the spot instead.

• The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28.


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