Eastwood Golf Course and Fort Myers Country Club are the two city-owned golf courses in Fort Myers. But lately, Eastwood has had some money problems.
“We come once or twice to Fort Myers, we like this place,” Verena, a golfer from Switzerland, said.
The city said it will cover some costs for the two courses. Eastwood was given $175,000, and Fort Myers Country Club was given $112,000.
“You can either continue the way you are, and gradually die, if you don’t upgrade, you can rebuild and continue or you can sell it,” Todd Brown, head professional said.
Brown is doing what he can to prevent the course from going under. The course had to be shut down for 25 days last September due to Hurricane Irma, and a new road is being built through the course, which shut them down for six months. Only nine holes were opened because of a $2.5 million renovation.
“That’s really the bottom line of why we needed $175,000 to get through our budget issues,” Brown said.
That money is coming from the city's recreational fund. But the decision didn’t go unquestioned.
“Well my concern was, we had spent a lot of money, renovating Fort Myers Golf Course with the idea that if we were to renovate it we wouldn’t be having to subsidize it,” Fred Burson with the Fort Myers City Council said.
Councilman Burson told us he’s not against golf courses. He voted to help them out and wants the courses to be more self sufficient.
“Take a hard look at the play fees and things like that to make sure we’re in line with what other golf courses charge for a round of golf and see if we can’t do everything we can to make sure it’s self-sufficient,” Burson said.
Brown is looking at the bigger picture. “The big picture of the whole thing, we’ve made a lot money for a lot of years, and now we need a little money while we’re upgrading to get through,” he said.
And Verena agrees. “No, I don’t understand, the people have enough money, they can give something, it’s good for the nature, clean air,” she said.