Ben Hawes getting new golf carts

Ben Hawes Golf Course and Park operates a fleet of 60 Yamaha gasoline-powered golf carts, built in 2005. As early as July, they will be gone, probably replaced by 72 new electric carts, course manager Chris Cary said Tuesday.

“We’ll start the bidding process this week, and we’ll probably go with electric,” he said.

Electric carts are less expensive to operate and quieter, Cary said. But they have to perform, he said.

“We want them to go 36 holes (without recharging) and be able to go up No. 7.”

The seventh hole has the steepest hill on the course.

Golfers will be seeing plenty of other changes at the course, which the city took over from the state this week. The pro shop will have much more golf merchandise, Cary said, including apparel. A  bar and grill will be installed in the old house (former pro shop) near the putting green.

As for the course itself, some of the tee boxes will be lengthened to provide tees closer to the holes for players who prefer shorter distances. Walking bridges on the par-3 course will be repaired soon and both courses will be sprayed for mosquitoes.

The lights on the par-3 course will be turned on for the first time in about 10 years, as soon as they are repaired. Night play will be allowed until 10 p.m.

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