Comparing golf: Owensboro and Bowling Green

When Bob Williams, president of the Hillcrest Golf Association, spoke to the Owensboro City Commission Feb. 2 in support of the city keeping Hillcrest Golf Course open, he pointed out that Bowling Green, the city Owensboro is frequently compared too, has three golf courses.

Williams was right about that. Bowling Green’s Web site includes this information about its city-owned golf courses: “CrossWinds Golf Course is an “above par” 18-hole golf course which has over 6,500 yards of Bermuda tees and fairways, and bentgrass greens surrounded by some of the largest bunkers in Kentucky. The City also has two enjoyable nine hole courses: The Golf Course at Riverview and Paul Walker Golf Course. The Golf Course at Riverview surrounds Riverview, Bowling Green’s historic landmark built by Colonel Atwood G. Hobson and Juliet VanMeter Hobson. Paul Walker Golf Course is nestled in one of the oldest neighborhoods in town.”

If Owensboro closes Hillcrest’s nine golf holes in favor of concentrating all its golf activities at Ben Hawes, the city will have a total of 27 holes of golf because Hawes has an 18-hole regulation course and a nine-hole par-3 course.

But, as Williams said, that will still leave Owensboro with one golf course and nine golf holes less than its neighbor to the southeast. If Owensboro managed to keep Hillcrest open and operate both of the Ben Hawes courses, both cities would have 36 holes of golf available to residents and visitors.

The Hillcrest-Ben Hawes issue is up for what promises to be a lengthy discussion at the City Commission’s noon work session on Tuesday. The city’s staff has been asked to provide the commission with various options and costs associated with operating both courses, or just Ben Hawes.


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