The City of Fort Wayne wants to buy the Lakeside Golf Club and they’re making a proposal to City Council Tuesday night. This means the course could be closing for good at the end of this season if passed.
Club President Bud Beard is confident the $391,075.35 sale will go through. Although he and the course’s golfers are sad, they just can’t handle the flooding of this course any longer.
The City of Fort Wayne has been negotiating to buy the 142 acres of land since 2015. Beard said the purchase doesn’t include the bowling alley, buildings, or parking lot.
“They haven’t told us what they want to do for it, but they obviously they must have something in mind,” he speculated.
Beard is willing to sell because flooding is causing the business to become unsustainable.
“In 2015, we got five separate floods in the month of June alone and we lost the whole season,” he explained. “Basically, it was a completely lost year.”
Lakeside is now one of several golf courses to close in recent years, including Cedar Creek Golf Club, which is being turned into upscale housing.
Beard is greatly concerned for golfers in the city.
“They’re going to have to find places to play and they may have to drive a little farther,” he said. This is a good location for a lot of our clientele.”
He’s not entirely sure why people are golfing less. He speculates it might be people’s love for modern technology like smart phones and video games.
He’s also not sure why so many courses in Greater Fort Wayne are closing. He thinks it could be a need for more housing and development.
What he does know is that he helped build this golf course with his dad in the 1956 when he was 11 years old and it’s become his life. He’ll be retiring along with the golf course.
“It’s bitter sweet without a doubt,” he said. “My wife has worked here. All three of my kids have worked here. Two of my grandkids have worked here. It’s in the family. Grandkids make it fourth generation. It’s part of us.”
City Utilities will introduce their proposal to City Council Tuesday night. Council should make their vote on Oct. 23.