Candler park conservancy

Golf Course open to general use for next eight Mondays

Candler Park Golf Course will be accessible for general, low-impact recreation on Mondays for the next two months, starting July 13. The course will continue to be open exclusively for golf during the other six days of the week.

The city Parks and Recreation Department is experimenting with this shared-use plan in response to heavy general use during the pandemic-induced course shutdown. The idea is to provide golfers with unrestricted use 7 am-7 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, while giving other visitors one day to safely picnic, enjoy natural features and have low-impact fun on the fairways without risk of injury.

It’s conditioned upon visitors respecting the course and leaving it undamaged and unlittered. Non-golfers should continue to stay off the greens and the tee-boxes so that golfers will be able play on a course in good condition during the other six days of the week.

The Conservancy supports both the continued presence of golf on this historic course and the exploration of limited access for the general public. A general-use day was first proposed in the CPNO Master Plan, which was endorsed in 2015 by the neighborhood and City Council. Extensive use of the course by non-golfers since the pandemic prompted both CPNO and the Conservancy to ask the city to try it out. A similar trial already is taking place on Chastain Park’s 18-hole golf course.

Golf is a fundamental part of Candler Park for many reasons. The nine-hole course’s accessibility and low-cost make it a vital recreational resource for the entire city. Its unique history and physical beauty make it a particular gem. Without its operation as a golf course, the park’s northernmost 40 acres would be less well maintained and, frankly, less enticing for the kind of visitation that took place while the course was closed.

At the same time, we were inspired by many of the creative alternative uses that we observed during the pandemic closure: families exploring the tadpoles and natural life in the wetlands; joggers running throughout the course at all hours; and people on blankets, flying kites, and playing catch or Frisbee on the fairways. There are natural features on the course that do not have a parallel in other parks in this area, it truly presents a unique oasis in the heart of the city.

We’re genuinely curious to see the public usage during this time and look forward to continuing to advocate for the needs of Candler Park for all of its users. We urge all park users to be kind and patient with one another, and to treat this wonderful resource with the respect it deserves.

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