Committee hopes to make some green while maintaining greens

Westview Golf Course in Quincy comprises 27 holes

The Quincy Park District wants to make sure it's on par with the future of the Westview Golf Course.

Monday night, the park board's newly created committee met for the first time to discuss the only public golf course in the Gem City.

You might recall a controversial expansion proposal that called for the renovation of the back nine holes and a new driving range.

That plan didn't sit well with the general public, so the committee went back to the drawing board.

"I think times are changing," Golf Committee Chairman Tom Ernst said. "I think we have a lot of decrease in the number of people playing."

That is why Monday night's meeting focused on several ideas to increase revenue, playability and affordability at Westview Golf Course. The main theme - better marketing. Some of the ideas raised included reducing the fee for the back nine holes; recruiting more golf outings; increasing pace of play; and renting the back nine to groups.

"Nobody has any opinions right now," Ernst said.

But there was no shortage of opinions at this public hearing in May, when the majority of the general public voiced their opposition to the initial Westview expansion plan.

"We already have a driving range" Knights of Columbus District Director Verne Hagstrom said. "We have a Par 3 golf course."

That's why committee members are looking at other ways of increasing revenue at Westview. For example, the committee discussed better marketing on the course's tree program in which families can donate trees to Westview in honor of their deceased loved ones. Bottom line -- the committee hopes for a hole-in-one that meets the Quincy Park District's financial needs, pleases area golfers and recruits new ones.

"We need to get more people out at Westview to enjoy one of the best golf courses in the Tri-State area," Ernst said. "It's a beautiful place."

Westview Golf Course faces stiff competition from Quincy's private courses not to mention all of the area golf courses outside of Quincy.

Ernst says he hopes to have two to three more meetings this summer to get ready for the next budget process.