English has plan of action for Muny's future
Sat, 01/18/2014 - 11:15pm Staff
Frustration has turned to hope at Lawton Municipal Golf Course.
Armed with a to-do list that is spiced with references to birds and water, Joe English has hit the ground running as the new man in charge at the 18-hole southside layout.
English, a 59-year-old Lawton businessman, takes over the lease that has been in the hands of the Jack Greer family since the original agreement with the Airport Authority was signed in 1952. Greer's daughter, Cindy Nunn, and her husband, Ron, announced in November that they were vacating because of financial issues created by two summers of intense heat and drought.
The course closed on Dec. 31. The Airport Authority turned over the lease to English on Wednesday and the course re-opened Friday.
That's good news for the 30-plus members who store private carts at Muny and the dozens who purchase annual or monthly memberships.
The major issue facing English is the geese that nest at Lake Lawton the course's only water source and fly to a nearby field to feed. Their route sets up a potential collision with airport traffic.
English has become one of the city's leading authorities on how to lessen the problem. One of his first priorities is to remove the nesting areas.
"What we're going to do the first couple weeks is clean up a bunch of the dead trees and the grass that hasn't been mowed and then start on the pond area, getting it cleaned up," he said.
"Basically, it's cleaning the course. We have to rework a lot of the sprinkler systems to bring them back up. We have to aerate all the fairways and get them to where they'll hold some water. Then I'm going to rebuild some of the tee boxes and change them up to where they're level and get some water to them so we have some nice-looking tee boxes.
"Until I get better control of the water situation, I can't waste the water we have on the fairways except for maybe some of the landing areas."