Del Norte Golf Course will be closing July 1 and some golfers would like to see it stay open.
In a letter from Elk Valley Tribal Chairman Dale Miller to supporters, Miller said the reasons for the closure are simply rising costs and fewer golfers.
“In the golf industry overall, the economic viability of new and existing golf courses is in sharp decline, with the exception of those supported by a residential development community, local municipality, private membership club or resort,” Miller’s letter states. “We’ll be working with anyone who has tournaments and events scheduled to find other arrangements.”
Former Men’s Club president Don Olson said he has used the course since the mid-1960s, when he was in his teens. He agreed the number of golfers has declined over the years and the numbers have been a challenge for Elk Valley Rancheria.
“At the peak, we probably had over 300,” Olson said. “Now it’s down to less than 100.”
Club Member Calvin Maready called the closure announcement “terrible news.” Maready said since the course opened in 1952, he has been using it about 20 years.
Maready said the other local course at King’s Valley isn’t the same.
“You can leave most of your clubs at home for that one,” he said.
Maready said the course is more than just a place for a limited number of people to enjoy, with its wildlife, pond, out-of-the-fog climate and untouched redwoods.
“Anyone can come out here,” he said. “It’s just a beautiful and quiet place to be.”
Maready said the course has been for sale for some time through Stremberg Realty. He said some Men’s Club members are discussing ways to keep the course open.
“Members in the club would pay to see it open if the Rancheria is at all flexible,” Maready said.
Maready also noted Del Norte High School’s golf teams will also lose out in the event of a full closure.
“It closes in July, so come out and see it while you can,” he said.