The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 6
fresh them while hewing to the bedrock principles of affordable accessibility upon which they were constructed a century
ago. Specifically, to do the following:
include health-giving games for the enjoyment of those who
cannot afford to develop country clubs. (Washington Evening
Star, February 28, 1909)
It's not that other cities have not tried non-profit manage* Expand opportunities for underserved communities,
ment models. It's just that those other attempts tried to overincluding seniors, veterans, individuals with disabilities lay nonprofit structures atop systems that were otherwise tradiand those new to golf;
tional in every other respect. The NLT/National Park Service
* Promote youth education and support youth golf
model injects heavy doses of charitable contribution and misprograms;
sion focus - the contribution to ensure cost recovery, the focus
* Share the history of the three golf courses;
to ensure that the mission doesn't get lost in the details of day* Restore historically and architecturally significant eleto-day business or grandiose visions.
ments of the properties;
What began as a function of public willingness to expend
* Enhance and provide additional access to the natural
public dollars to build and sustain golf courses for those "who
environment to benefit both golfers and the general
cannot afford to develop country clubs" and succeeded so wildcommunity;
ly beyond the founders' imaginations to become a profitable
* Provide new full-time, seasonal and youth-specific
enterprise years later may need to return to the public spiritedemployment opportunities.
ness that animated these turn-of-the 20th Century pioneers,
the ones who set golf on course to become the sport of 30 milThere's poignance in Washington D.C. being the trailblazer. lion it became at its peak some 15 years ago. Except this time,
The Bronx may be the home to America's first municipal golf the public spiritedness is not going to be funded by the public
course, but the energy for the municipal golf movement came purse; it is going to have to be funded by those who labor in
mostly from Washington D.C. in the form of the national gov- and profit from as well as just plain love the game.
ernment's passion during the period immediately after the turn
Such is the difference between 2020 America and the "Proof the 20th Century for national parks, urban green spaces, gressive Era" America that launched public golf. For those who
health, and the sense that provision of those things was an ap- object to lumping municipal golf and daily fee golf together,
propriate object of public expenditure.
read your history. It was municipal golf that built the market
A Washington Post editorial from 1907 captured that spirit for daily fee golf. There isn't one without the other. And there
won't long be the successor version if the original version is alIs a public park a beautiful place to be merely looked at or lowed to languish and along with it the sites where the game
is it a place to be used? This question has been answered by executes its growth campaigns and seeks to expand its demoseveral American cities in whose parks public golf courses have graphic base.
been laid out . . . In nearly all city parks playing of lawn tenAs for the "recent past" example that offers hope for golf 's
nis, baseball, football, cricket and croquet is permitted; but it is future, it's the old USGA "For the Good of the Game" grant
especially fitting that the public park provide a course for golf, program. It eschewed the game's default top-down approach
for that is a game none can enjoy otherwise without belonging in favor of subsidiarity. By supplying what big organizations
to a club. The public park can be put to no better use than to have most of - resources and prestige - and deferring to what
provide facilities for the people's pastimes. (Washington Post, only locals have - the community connections and credibility
March 10, 1907)
to translate big organizations' seed money and prestige into roA full flavor of just how powerful societal support was for bust fundraising campaigns - the USGA "For the Good of
municipal golf at this time is even clearer in the language the the Game" grants program was able to multiply its resources
author used in the following February 28, 1909 Washington over a wide area and in the process accomplish much more for
Evening Star commentary, that author being none other than the game than other programs. Lots of bang for the bucks as
the newly elected President of the United States William it were. Something for the USGA to consider as part of its
Howard Taft. Excerpted from the commentary advocating for recently announced pivot toward public golf.
the Capitol to construct a municipally owned golf system is
That's the model that can work for the nation's beleaguered
developmental golf facilities. It will take a lot more than just the
I favor a freer use of public parks by the people than we USGA; it will take all the game's normative leadership organihave had in the past. They should be available for tennis, base- zations plus the game's business stakeholders and the millions
ball, skating, golf and like games, under reasonable restrictions. of golfers who love the game and want to see it thrive for their
Golf is the least injurious of outdoor games to the landscape children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The same goes
features of our public parks. I think all our parks should be for the National Links Trust and its model for revitalizing tired
opened for golf unless there is some specific objection in public municipal properties.
needs. The parks of Washington are bought and maintained
But most of all it will take the vision to understand what can
with public funds and are exempt from taxation. The use to work in the times we live, and the will to make it happen. Golf
which they are put should not be confined to driveways which has already proven that the money is there; it's just a matter of
are a boon to those who own carriages and motors but should channeling it properly. n
6 THE PELLUCID PERSPECTIVE
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020
Dangerous Beauty: Is Harder Better?
Another perspective on “charity begins at home”
How is/will COVID impact supply/demand (im)balance?
Neutral national June results, regional “mileage” varies
May Utilization posts nice gain but rounds “rebound” underwhelms
Chicago has a strong golfer base, just needs more motivation/activation
26 Activities; Transacts handily beat Closeds 15-7!
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - Dangerous Beauty: Is Harder Better?
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - Another perspective on “charity begins at home”
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - How is/will COVID impact supply/demand (im)balance?
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - Neutral national June results, regional “mileage” varies
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - May Utilization posts nice gain but rounds “rebound” underwhelms
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - Chicago has a strong golfer base, just needs more motivation/activation
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 26 Activities; Transacts handily beat Closeds 15-7!
The Pellucid Perspective - July 2020 - 17