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The Board has just voted to close Berksdale, and Kingswood is probably not far behind. For years, golfers have enjoyed the Berksdale and Kingswood golf courses because of their beauty, ease of play and the flat terrain. Many POA members, who are avid golfers, can no longer hump the hills and dells of the Highlands, Scotsdale or Dogwood. Having "flat" courses allows them to continue to play the game they love, stay active, enjoy friends and life.

I play with a number of golfers in their 80s, and one is celebrating his 90th birthday this year. These men are still out there, "hitting the little white ball" and enjoying life. They may not hit the ball as far as they once did, and they may be a little slower getting off the green, but they are still out there. I can only hope to be as active as they are if I live that long. Recently, after a round of golf at Scotsdale, one such golfer decided to quit the group because it was getting harder to hump the back nine, and he did not want to slow the group. How many rounds, how many years did he still have on a valley course?

What percentage of golfers in Bella Vista is in a similar circumstance, 10 percent, 15 percent or more? With each passing day, we are all getting closer to making a similar decision. Not everyone here is a scratch golfer, nor wants to play challenging courses with narrow fairways and elevated greens every round. Some just want to enjoy a nice day out with buddies on a golfer-friendly, relatively-flat course like Berksdale or Kingswood. What about the nine-hole groups? There are nine groups identified as nine-hole groups in the 2018 booklet. How many of these will continue when told they can only play the Highlands or Scotsdale.

The current courses encompass a variety of terrains and appeal to many different skill levels. Some may consider the valley courses boring, and others no longer enjoy the challenge of the Highlands, Scotsdale or Dogwood. As a property owner's association, we should be accommodating the broad spectrum of golfers who live here, and we already have the courses in place. We don't have to build a shiny new hilly course on the state line; we just need to maintain those we have.

If the board continues to ignore the wishes of the broader golfing community and continues on this misguided plan to close the valley courses, many "elder" golfers may be forced to give up the game they love. One option would be for the board to point these golfers toward the mini golf courses at the Metfield and Kingswood pools. Beware, they may start charging a greens fee.

Maybe our money would be better utilized maintaining current POA amenities rather than spending $140,000 on a half a dozen yurts for mountain bikers who are not POA members.

Bill King

Bella Vista

Editorial on 05/16/2018

Print Headline: Elder Golf in Bella Vista

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