At least for now, historic Candler Park GC in the heart of Atlanta, Ga., appears to be safe.
In May, GCM reported that Candler Park could be in jeopardy. The golf course suffered $70,000 in losses in 2011, and that it might be reduced to only a driving range or completely shuttered. Now, though, the future looks so much more promising, according to John Gillespie, GCSAA Class A superintendent at Candler Park.
"Community support to save the golf course is overwhelming," says Gillespie, a 12-year association member.
Park Pride, a group that was supposed to be involved about a master plan for Candler Park, has removed itself from the process of helping decide what becomes of Candler Park, which was founded in 1926 and is a wildlife haven, and also is seen as a safe green space. There has been speculation that Candler Park may be transformed into a nature preserve, even possibly a concert venue. The Candler Park Neighborhood Organization states that "Park Pride's objectivity presented challenges to the process and limited our ability to complete the goal."
"They (Park Pride) pretty much backed off," Gillespie says. "Things have calmed down."
"And our numbers (golfers who have played there) are up 35 percent from this time last year," Gillespie says. "The greens are in perfect condition."
Gillespie says Candler Park GC is seeking support from a natural: Coca-Cola. After all, Candler Park is named in honor of Asa Candler, who made his fortune selling Coca-Cola.