Saving the Henderson Golf Club

Saving the Henderson Golf Club

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Chatham County commissioners are saying enough is enough, and that something needs to be done about the worsening condition of a county-owned golf course.

Henderson Golf Club sits near the intersection of I-95 and Hwy 204, and was once considered one of the best-run public courses in the area.

Before redistricting in 2012, the course was in Dean Kicklighter's district. So he was the one to show his fellow commissioners how bad things have gotten at Henderson.

With members of the Henderson Golf Club and home owners association looking on, Commissioner Kicklighter detailed the condition of the golf course.

"Another Tee box, pathetic. Weeds just absolutely awful. This is what they're supposed to be doing," said Kicklighter.

Kicklighter is referring to the Gallea Management Group that was hired to maintain the course. Gallea recently said they want to terminate their lease this December. But county leaders acknowledged, the declining condition of Henderson is as much their fault, and Kicklighter proposed more oversight.

"It's not good enough that we had, we were wrote up in the past about being a role model for public courses. If were not checking on it, no matter who we get in there again, there's a chance they may let it drop like this last group," said Kicklighter.

Several commission members agreed.

"We're definitely going to have to, in my opinion, staff is going to have to monitor our assets more closely from now into the future," said District 4 Commissioner Patrick Farrell.

The acknowledgement was music to the ears of those who care deeply for the fate of the golf club and surrounding neighborhood.

"You rarely hear that from city or county administrators. And for them to say that, I think for all of us, makes us feel very good about them taking the bull by the horns, and do what's best for the whole county and try to get this golf course back on track," said Mark Johnson, long-time Henderson resident.

County Manager Lee Smith said Thursday he received phone calls from two national golf course management companies who are interested in taking over at Henderson.

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