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Hundreds Attend Save Glendale Rally
Several hundred enthusiastic golfers gave up their Saturday morning game to gather at the Glendale Golf Course and express their ‘dismay’ at the thoughts of Glendale Golf Course being ‘turned into Pioneer Park” as several signs suggested.
Tim Branigan, an Irish part time assistant teaching pro at the course, was the driving force behind the rally, and he lined up a bevy of speakers who one after the other spoke in favor of retaining Glendale as a golf course.
The band ‘Porch to Porch’ revved up the crowd with pre-rally upbeat music that had everyone toe tapping and high fiving.
After several months of public discussion concerning the negative financial situation of the SLC golf courses, the Salt Lake City Council recently recommended that Mayor Becker close Glendale Golf Course and convert it into a multi-use public park. It was an unexpected motion since Glendale is a profitable golf course. It was that recommendation that has stirred up the Glendale golf community and triggered the effort to Save Glendale.
“During the last four years Glendale has returned to the city coffers $274,000 over and above expenses,” Branigan said, “and in September it will switch to secondary water which will improve the bottom line by $150,000 per year.”
“Shutting down one of its most profitable golf courses and turning it into a non-revenue producing multi-use park is clear indication that the decision has nothing to do with finances,” said Branigan.
Tommy Reese, beloved golf professional at the course for 40 years, expressed his love for Glendale and the support he had from all the golfers in the area. “We never foresaw the end of Glendale. We were building it to last forever.”
UGA Executive Director Bill Walker expressed his concern with the city’s intentions to close the course.
He said, “the philosophy of the city as advertised on its own webpage is to ‘Embrace the values and quality of life that attract residents and businesses to a neighborhood.’
“In addition,” he said, “the web page states that the city ‘values open space that creates a place for social gathering, interaction and community building within neighborhoods.’
“That is what golf does. That is what Glendale is doing,” he said.
Jim Ewers, an 82-year-old regular at Glendale who walks the course four or five times a week, also spoke of his disappointment with the idea of no more golf at Glendale.
Henry White, long time pro in the Salt Lake City area, decried the decision as “making no business sense.”
Van Turner, a resident of the Glendale area who is running for a seat on the city council, spoke in favor of retaining the golf course. The council incumbent of the area, Kyle LaMalfa, voted in favor of closing Glendale, but has recently withdrawn from the race because of a non-related conflict.
Rod Zundel, the popular Channel Five sportscaster, revved up the crowd with his enthusiastic criticism of the council’s mismanagement of water decisions that have had negative effects on the golf course balance sheets. For the past ten years the mayor and city councils have denied requested funds to the golf department to convert the courses from culinary water to secondary water.
Mayoral candidates George Chapman, Dave Robinson, and Jackie Biskupski all spoke in favor of keeping Glendale as a golf course.
Jim Dabakis livened things up with his enthusiastic support of Glendale. He entered the mayoral race for a couple of days before changing his mind, but he was still at the rally to support saving Glendale.