Commentary: We must save Aztec Municipal Golf Course

Irene Barry, Aztec High School golf coach
The Aztec Municipal Golf Course could close at the end of the year.

It came to my knowledge that the Aztec Municipal Golf Course may lose the support of the City of Aztec. 

My student-athletes practice at this golf course, and we represent Aztec High School and our community through our competitions.

We qualified for state the past four years, and Aztec Municipal Golf Course will help us continue that success.

The golf course is also used by our locals, according to golfer Randy Hodge, who also noted that 11,000 rounds of golf were played in 2018. There are more than 100 annual members who use the course.

For a small rural facility, that is a lot of playing time.

If Aztec Municipal Golf Course closes, it'll end our program at AHS and take the opportunity away from 25 young adults who want to participate in a local golf team.

The past few years have been very challenging due to high drought and unusual rains, which have increased the course’s maintenance fees. 

This will force our locals to go to other facilities and pay more money for a round of golf as a result.

Golf is a sport where someone can learn as much about themselves as they want because it’s filled with so many challenges one has to overcome. 

Golf has also influenced society in a positive way. 

Golf is a demanding sport, as it takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication to become decent at it. 

Golf has lasted for many, many years. There have been players during the reign of Julius Caesar all the way up to today’s players like Phil Mickelson, Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods. 

Golf is played around the globe, and its origins trace back to the Song Dynasty in China from the years 960 to 1,279. 

The governing body of golf began as the United States Golf Association (USGA) in 1894. The Professional Golf Association of America was then founded in 1916. 

The name of the professional tour later changed to the Player’s Association Tour in 1981, which was then renamed as the Professional Golfers Association (PGA). 

Tournament golf has been gaining popularity ever since. 

Today, golf in the U.S. is a $70 billion-a year industry with over 24.1 million players. 

Golf takes time, effort, attitude and lots of exercise on and off the course.

Golf is a lifetime sport for the young, the old and those who want to compete, and for those who want to just have fun playing the game.

I will publish a series of articles about the value of a local golf course to a community in the next few weeks, in hopes that we convince the City of Aztec that the Aztec Municipal Golf course represents a part of Aztec that we, as a community, are not willing to lose. 

We need to join together as a community to support the golf course and to show the City of Aztec that we do not want to lose it. 

I ask you, as community members, to make the City of Aztec realize that this is unacceptable. I ask and challenge each and every community member to write to the City of Aztec, attend Randy Hodge’s community meetings at the golf course and to figure out another solution to the problem to help save our golf course.