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Candler Park Golf Course's Best Use? As a Golf Course

City's parks commissioner tells Candler Park residents that golf course will remain.

Ever since the city said it was looking at ways to take the Candler Park Golf Course out of the loss column and into the profit column, Candler Park residents worried what the end result would be.

The city considered a driving range, following a consulting study that outlined options.

That, of course, sparked a tilt-a-whirl of rumors that included supposed plans for an amphitheater, to a sale to the Paideia School in Druid Hills to construction of a parking deck.

On Monday, George Dusenbury, commissioner of Atlanta's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, laid the rumors to rest.

The nine-hole golf course loses about $50,000 a year, Dusenbury said.

Nevertheless, the golf course is not for sale. Nor are there plans for construction of an amphitheater or parking deck, he said at a meeting of the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization.

Even the driving range is off the table, he said, explaining it wouldn't make money.

Keeping it as a golf course still won't turn a profit, he said.

"It's going to lose money, but it's probably the most cost-effective way to manage it," the commissioner said.

The city is still considering other options for the golf course, which includes raising fees, as well as other measures to increase usage, such as opening it up to dog walkers in the mornings, before golfers come to play.

Though sizable, Dusenbury added the losses have decreased since it handed management of the golf course to American Golf Corp., which is overseeing operations there.

But unlike other city-owned golf courses that American Golf leases, the Candler Park Golf Course is in a 10-year management agreement that runs through 2016.

Dusenbury told Candler Park residents that because of that arrangement American Golf's priority isn't to turn a profit because the city will bridge the gap to cover losses.

Tommy Dee August 22, 2012 at 12:34 AM
How much profit do the softball fields bring in? Swimming pools? Tennis courts? Basketball courts? I'll wager zero. Why is the golf course expected to turn a profit when the other park facilities are not?
Péralte Paul August 22, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Dusenbury was asked that question, Tommy: The tennis courts do turn a profit but the swimming pools and rec centers don't, he said.

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