Golf season at Detroit courses could be delayed

The opening of Chandler Park and three other Detroit owned golf courses is in jeopardy.

Spring is just around the corner and for golfers across the area that means, it's almost time to hit the links.

But golf season at Detroit courses could be delayed.

Thomas Emmanuel Walker III drove to Chandler Park Golf Course Friday to see if it was open.

"Heartbroken, I mean for 42 years I've been the early bird, the robin around here," he said. "And now can't get them to open the gate."

But Walker could have been made to wait longer to get on this course.

The opening of Chandler Park and three other Detroit owned golf courses was in jeopardy because some city council members were not on board with a decade long contract for a new contractor to manage the golf courses

"We would like to possibly see something for five years so we could better manage and observe and see if they have proper financial capacity and management skills to carry on this task," said Detroit councilwoman Mary Sheffield.

But on Friday a decision by city officials left management of the courses in the hands of the current contractor.

"We're going to extend current golf operator's contract for another year," said city attorney Melvin Butch Hollowell. "It's Vargo Golf. That operator operates our four courses, Palmer Park,  Chandler, Rouge and Rackham. We are going to cancel the current bids we have because we're going to make sure we are open in time for league play."

City officials say next Tuesday they will formally submit to city council Vargo's contract for a one year extension.

Officials say the move prevents a delay in the opening of the courses which could have caused a major loss in revenue as golf leagues are selecting courses now to play on for the summer.

But some critics say the golf courses are in dire need of repairs although city officials say the contract extension will help resolve those issues as well.

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