First I want to say that the Feb. 9 article on Whispering Pines was excellent. It’s rare that a government-run business released so much inside details. The input from experienced golf course management people was right on. There are many local courses that don’t do 36,000 rounds a year and are still making a profit.
But on a different note, the suggested idea to make Whispering Pines an executive course with more recreational fields has me wondering. The city spent a boatload of money at The Market Common with more soccer and baseball fields only to have them sit there empty 80 percent of the time, bringing in no money. We seem to be fixated on baseball fields in this area. At least Whispering Pines brings in thousands of dollars year round and thousands of new tourists which gives the city a promotional advantage that other cities don’t have.
As the executive type course is discussed, just ask yourself if you would fly or drive 10 hours to Myrtle Beach to play an executive type course? The answer is absolutely not. Golfers come to Myrtle Beach because of the variety of courses and if Whispering Pines wants to offer seniors and kids a better golf experience, just add more tee boxes to accommodate them. That costs virtually nothing. Besides, many golfers who are mostly in their mid 60s to early 80s play Whispering Pines and a variety of other courses from gold tees, which make them executive length courses.
But if the city desires to add more recreational activities why not a large local swimming pool? A swimming pool, which can offer a variety of activities: picnic area, water slide, an 80- to 100-foot vertical drop slide, high dive area, swimming classes, competitive swimming meets, senior exercise classes, baby pool area, food vendors, etc. Where do locals go to swim other than the beach to just jump up and down in the waves? As far as I know not many high schools or health clubs have swimming. The Crabtree gym is great for working out with a variety of physical exercise equipment, racquet ball and basketball, but no pool. A pool can operate just like the local water parks and offer everyone in your family a fun time.