City adds sixth option for golf course restructuring

Columbus Parks Board president Mark Levett addresses members of the public during a golf course information session at The Commons in Columbus, Ind., Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Levett and Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop presented information related to the city's proposal to close one of the city managed golf courses in Columbus. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

The city is now considering a sixth option about the future of golf in Columbus, adding an option to close Par 3 and Otter Creek’s east nine.

The option was mentioned during a Columbus Parks Board meeting Thursday, in which board members talked over the city’s proposed plan to close Greenbelt Golf Course, and public reaction to that proposal that was given Wednesday night at a public information session at The Commons.

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop and parks board President Mark Levett spoke to people who attended the Wednesday session, and said they are now looking into the additional option.

The original recommendation to close Greenbelt is one of five options listed in a community golf report by created by Tobi Herron, president of Inspire Motives LLC and former board member at Otter Creek. These options included:

  • Closing Greenbelt while keeping Par 3 and Otter Creek open.
  • Closing both Greenbelt and Par 3 while keeping Otter Creek open.
  • Closing Otter Creek while keeping Greenbelt and Par 3 open.
  • Closing the east nine of Otter Creek while keeping Greenbelt, Par 3 and Otter Creek’s north and west open.
  • Closing Greenbelt and Otter Creek’s east nine while keeping Par 3 and Otter Creek’s north and west open.

At Thursday’s parks board meeting, Levett said that the reason most scenarios did not include closing Par 3 was because the course’s losses were “insignificant” compared to those at both Greenbelt and Otter Creek. According to Lienhoop’s presentation, in 2019, Otter Creek lost about $370,000 Greenbelt lost about  $136,000. In the same year, Par 3 lost $34,000.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.