Recreation Authority accepts golf course

Published 6:08 pm Friday, February 12, 2016

The Pines Golf Course, a county-operated public golf course at the Decatur County Industrial Park, was handed over to the Bainbridge-Decatur County Recreation Authority Thursday.

Recreation Authority board members unanimously voted to accept responsibility, financially and operationally, of the golf course in response to a request by the Decatur County Board of Commissioners.

The authority’s responsibility for the course officially begins July 1, but in the meantime, information would need to be collected to determine the future of the Pines.

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“We will work with the county, and through the county to the present management of the course, to get the information we need to make a good decision and give it the consideration it deserves,” Recreation Authority Chairman Jeff Findley said. “We plan to be deliberate in the decision making process to ensure we make the best decision for everyone involved.”

Findley made clear that the motion was just to accept responsibility for the Pines, as there is not enough information to make decisions beyond that. Financial statements, number of players and other details will be collected between now and July 1 to paint a picture of how the Pines operates and what its future might hold.

“I’m happy with it,” Pines Manager Roland Hebert said in response to the Recreation Authority’s motion. “I don’t care who is the superior or the governing authority. Because I’m still going to do the same job I’m doing now—coming in six days a week and working the golf course.”

Hebert said that according to his information, the Pines had 3,300 total players in 2014. In 2015, 3,600 players teed off. Exploring these and other details will help the authority decide any next steps they will take.

Hebert also said that there are as many golfers playing at the Pines as tennis players at the Bill Reynolds Tennis Center.

“We’re talking about apples, same thing,” Hebert said.

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners made a motion at their meeting last Tuesday for the Recreation Authority to accept responsibility of the golf course.

“The county would be more than willing to work with (the authority),” Decatur County Administrator Alan Thomas said. “Whatever terms we decide on in turning control over to the authority.”