Columbus-owned golf courses in financial trouble

Columbus-owned golf courses in financial trouble
(Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The two city-owned golf courses in Columbus are facing financial problems, with talk of possibly having to shut down next year if the situation doesn't get better.

Bull Creek and Oxbow Creek golf courses are both owned by the city of Columbus, but not city-funded. When they don't bring in enough revenue, the difference is made up by the city's general fund.

Oxbow was built in 1998 after an existing golf course on Victory Drive was turned into softball fields for the 1996 Olympics. Columbus City Council promised people on the south side a new golf course in exchange for the old one, which was Oxbow.

"I think it's appropriate that we remember what was promised so that we follow through," golfer Robert Hutchinson said.

"I am in a position where I am not going to let the golf course deteriorate. I'm going to go to council in January and say, I am probably going to run out of money depending on what the weather does this winter. In April, May, June…what do you want me to do? Can you find me the money or do I have to close?" said John Milam, Columbus Director of Golf.

For the past 16 years, the Oxbow Creek golf course has had a net loss of $300,000 per year. Milam says money is tight and the city council is looking for ways to make cuts. He fears the golf course might be part of those cuts.

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