Note: This story contains the corrected email address and meeting time for District 2 and city councilor Jeannie Cue. The enewsletter listed her as the District 4 councilor.
By Ken MacLeod
The first of five public meetings planned by the city of Tulsa to discuss its upcoming capital improvements package with the public occurred Tuesday night at Hardesty Library. In the $919,917,694 worth of proposals was $476,903 for various patch jobs to the clubhouse at Page Belcher, including new roofing to stop the numerous leaks the staff has been experiencing. The parking lot is also scheduled for improvements with funds already secured.
It may be too late for this go-round, but what Golf Oklahoma would recommend to the City of Tulsa is to scrap those repairs and build a new clubhouse rather than continuing to burn money on a building that has proven inadequate in many respects.
In Olde Page and Stone Creek, the city is fortunate to have two of the best layouts among public courses in the state (the par-5s at Stone Creek need tweaking, but that’s another story). The courses are further set apart by their zoysia fairways and the new Champion Bermuda greens, Playing conditions for the cost of a round could not be better. The clubhouse, however, no longer matches the quality of the courses. Constant leaks and their resulting damage along with inadequate and dysfunctional space are just part of many problems.
When the course holds a tournament, all pre and post-round functions must be held outside as the restaurant can hold about 50 comfortably. The course misses out on tournaments, banquets, parties, weddings and other social events due to lack of facilities.
The Page Belcher clubhouse originally opened in 1977 in the space of what is now the restaurant. It was expanded in the early 1980s and again in 1987 when Stone Creek opened. Now it’s a series of boxes or rectangles that makes little functional sense.
The Page Belcher complex can be a beacon for the city, both for its citizens and for tourism, much as the LaFortune Park complex is for Tulsa County. The city rebuilt the dilapidated clubhouse at Mohawk Park within the last decade and the county completely revamped LaFortune Park last year.
Investing in golf may seem like a hard thing with so many other needs, but having two outstanding courses such as Olde Page and Stone Creek is an asset not to be taken lightly when a city tries to bring in new business or keep existing business. Not everyone can belong to a country club. Having outstanding public golf and facilities to match is part of what will help keep vibrant young Tulsans here and attract others. It’s a quality of life issue. The current clubhouse is deteriorating. Fixing the leaks is just a stopgap. Why not just triple that $476,903 investment and have a facility that will improve the quality of life in Tulsa for several generations to come.
Anyone who agrees with us, you might consider an email to city councilor Jeannie Cue, whose district includes Page Belcher, Dist2@tulsacouncil.org, or to Tulsa Parks and Recreation Director Lucy Dolman at LDOLMAN@cityoftulsa.org. Or attend one of the remaining public input meetings. The district 2 meeting is Aug. 13 at the Carbondale Assembly of God, 2135 W. 51st Street, at 6 p.m. Agree or disagree, email us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.