City begins work to improve conditions at Page Belcher golf courses

The first thing Randy Heckenkemper wanted a visitor at Stone Creek Golf Course at Page Belcher to see was the stump left behind after a tree in front of the 18th green was cut down.

It was fully of gaping holes the size of dinner plates. “ They look healthy, but this is what they are, and they can fall on person, ” Heckenkemper said. then he pointed to nearby netting in a swath of dry, hard dirt. No hope for grass hera. “ You inactive see net, but you don ’ t see any sod, ” Heckenkemper said. “ The problem is, the turf was laid ( while ) keeping the trees, and the shade of the trees killed the superoxide dismutase. ” This is why crews from Tulsa Tree Doc have been out at Stone Creek since Monday removing trees from the 10th and 18th holes. The city — thanks to prodding from city councilors and a Citizens Golf Advisory Committee — is beginning the summons of improving its long-neglected public courses. Stone Creek ’ s back nine is temporarily closed while the work is afoot, but Page Belcher remains open for business. Heckenkemper is one of the state ’ s top golf course designers deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as a penis of the advisory committee. For the adjacent pair of months, he ’ ll be spending a lot of time at Stone Creek and Page Belcher ’ s other 18-hole course, Olde Page, ensuring that the rehabilitation study goes smoothly. Funds raised by the privately managed golf courses through greens fees and associated tax income are paying for the $ 500,000 project. It ’ s the first phase of a more comprehensive examination plan for Page Belcher that calls for improvements to the greens, bunkers, practice facilities and more, which will require extra financing. “ This stick out is just tree removal and corner cut and sod and watering and inseminate, ” Heckenkemper said. It ’ s a simple idea : clear out the trees that have been blocking the sun, leaving big patches of burn grass or no grass at all — a problem made regretful by limited water — and let nature do its thing. Heckenkemper understands that cutting down trees on a golf course might seem counterintuitive to most people, but he said the only trees that are coming down are the ones that must. “ You can constantly take out ; you can ’ triiodothyronine put back, ” he said. “ So we are very selective of which trees we remove. ” He ’ s besides immediate to point out that the work being done to the courses won ’ thyroxine alter their character or design. “ I think it is crucial for ( the public ) to see that this is calm a tree-lined golf hole, ” Heckenkemper said as he stood on the fairway on 10. The city has four 18-hole public golf courses — the two at Page Belcher and two at Mohawk Park. Each has been underfunded for years, but Heckenkemper said he believes the city has come to appreciate their importance to the community. “ If we fix up these city golf courses, more people will come and play them, and we can generate more tax income to go back into the sustenance, ” he said. Earlier this year, the city committed to spending $ 1 million in federal american Rescue Plan Act funds on golf path improvements if the Citizens Golf Advisory Committee can come up with a $ 1 million private match.

Park and Recreation Director Anna America said she hopes to make an announcement soon regarding that fundraising effort. “ That would be $ 2 million that would go into course improvements, ” America said. She stressed that the city besides has major improvements planned for Mohawk Park ’ s golf courses, including upgrades and repairs to its irrigation system. But for now, crews are working their way through the two courses at Page Belcher. It ’ mho solve Heckenkemper says won ’ thyroxine end when all the trees are depressed and the grass is alcoholic. In fact, that ’ s merely the begin. “ Golfers were pulling ( their carts ) astir good to the green. They have lost respect for the golf class because it looked in such bad shape, ” he said. “ so not merely are we going to be sodding and fertilizing and adding urine, we will besides be roping off areas and we ’ ll be retraining golfers to respect areas with their carts. “ Our plan is 10 points ; it ’ mho not precisely take the trees out and you solve it. ”

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Kevin Canfield

Staff Writer
I cover local government in Tulsa from the mayor to city council. phone : 918-581-8313

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