Friday, August 10, 2012
Council votes 6-1 to close Z Boaz Golf Course
Posted Wednesday, Apr. 04, 2012
FORT WORTH -- The City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to close the Z Boaz Golf Course and convert the 138-acre property into a community park, but golf course supporters were left with a glimmer of hope that it can be saved.
With Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks casting the lone no vote, the council agreed to close the park by Sept. 30.
But before the vote, Mayor Pro Tem W.B. "Zim" Zimmerman amended the motion to allow the closure to be revisited if Z Boaz backers can demonstrate that the course can support itself before the closure date.
Zimmerman also instructed the city manager to create a master plan for the park so amenities can be accounted for during the city budget process.
Z Boaz is supposed to generate enough revenue to pay for itself, but usage has decreased from 46,873 golfers in 2000 to 21,844 in 2010. Parks and Community Services Director Richard Zavala said Z Boaz lost $234,000 last year. As a park, it would cost about $150,000 annually to maintain.
But many longtime golfers questioned those figures and stressed what could be lost if the course is closed.
Invoking the names of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Dan Jenkins, several golfers said the course, which opened in 1930, had brought recognition to the city and deserves another chance to prove that it can be self-sufficient.
One resident read a letter from golfing legend Kathy Whitworth, who voiced support for keeping the course open.
Another speaker, Blair Kline, who manages the Harbor Lakes Golf Club in Granbury, said the course is worth saving and volunteered his services to study Z Boaz and recommend improvements.
Other speakers advocated for a dog park at Z Boaz and the possible addition of mountain bike trails.
Z. Boaz is located in the west sector of the City, surrounded by a network of major traffic arteries. This 18 hole regulation length facility was designed by Golf Course Architect John Bredemus. The original design of the course featured small greens, minimum trapping and few hazards. The par 70 course plays to a length of 6,033 yards from the Championship (Blue) tees, 5,655 yards from the Regular (White) tees and 4,782 from the Forward (Red) tees.
The golf shop is a brick/wood structure that is located immediately adjacent to a