First of all, you should know I am not a golfer.
I never had the patience to be a golfer. It takes too long. Too much standing around. Way too embarrassing when everyone is watching and you shank one into the woods.
I used to joke around with a friend of mine back in high school — he played golf, I played basketball. When I would harass him about hitting a little white ball around a big yard, he would always end the discussion by saying, “Yeah, just wait.” He was right. He’s still playing golf, but I look pretty silly on a basketball court.
The reason I bring golf up is because the city of Troy plans to spend a bunch of money fixing up the Miami Shores clubhouse. A lot of people seem to be upset about this. But you know what I think?
Even though I don’t play golf, I think it’s something that needs to be done.
We all have the tendency to want governments to take care of the things we personally care about. If you’re a hockey player, you want more ice at Hobart Arena. If you own an asphalt company, you want the roads repaved every year. If you’re a history person, you want the city to save all the old buildings. If you’re a developer, you might want to tear them all down. If you’re a kayaker, you want the city to turn the Miami River into the Colorado River.
There are a lot of people out there who want a lot of things and we always think our particular thing should get the most attention. People want the city to spend money on social programs or potholes instead of the golf course. One does not rule out the other. The city has been spending millions of dollars on potholes and social programs for years and will continue to do so. But it also has to address other needs.
Cities provide certain services to its residents and visitors and if cities are going to provide those services they have to spend money on upkeep and improvements. It so happens that it is time to do something for the golf course. The clubhouse was built in 1948. That means it’s even older than me. It has undergone only minor revisions along the way. Let’s face it, all of us need some major work when we reach that kind of age.
The improvements will make the golf course more attractive and hopefully make the clubhouse a place that gets use not just from golfers, but for other events, as well.
I know voters voted down an ill-advised tax levy last year that included, among other things, the clubhouse renovation. That didn’t change the need nor did it rule out other ways to finance the project. If you want to have a viable golf course, you have to take care of it.
I told you I don’t play golf but I do ride a bike. I would like to see a lot more bike paths in and around Troy. But I tell you what, I ride my bike past Miami Shores all the time and that place is busy. Often times, the parking lot is not just full, but overflowing. It’s one of many opportunities the city offers and it needs to be maintained properly. The clubhouse renovation is long overdue.
There’s always is something else you can spend money on and there’s not enough money for everything at one time. So line up and take your turn. It’s easy to complain about potholes and trash collection and snow plowing and the police and fire departments but on the whole Troy does a pretty good job in those basic areas — well, except for maybe that snow plowing thing. I’m not sure how that is supposed to work.
As for Miami Shores, it isn’t a private club. The clubhouse facilities will be open to everyone, including us non-golfers. I say go for it, mark it off the list and move onto the next project. Everyone will get their turn eventually — when do you think I should submit my plans for hundreds of miles of new bike paths with lights and overhanging porticos to keep out the rain? I think I might have to wait in line a long time for that one.
David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.