CARSON, Calif. — It is a last ditch effort to save a beloved public golf course from being redeveloped.
"This is something that we do, that we love," said Vince Goshi, who has been playing at The Links at Victoria Golf Course in Carson for 50 years and can't imagine going anywhere else.
What You Need To Know
- The Links at Victoria Golf Course is set to be transformed into a public recreation facility
- The Carol Kimmelman Sports and Academic Campus would offer sports and academic enrichments services to underprivileged youth
- The golf community is fighting the move and hoping L.A. County Supervisor-elect Holly Mitchell will listen to their concerns
- The new plans would deeply affect golf teams from eight area high schools and Cal State Dominguez Hills
Like many others, Goshi is hoping that newly elected Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell will listen to their concerns.
"Contact us," said Goshi. "Talk to the golf community down here, and we can give you a lot of details on how we got to where we are and the history."
The Carol Kimmelman Sports and Academic Campus would offer sports and academic enrichments services to underprivileged youth. It would include a 25,000 square foot learning center, almost 50 tennis courts, five full-size soccer fields, baseball fields, basketball courts, track and field, and fitness and play areas.
Seemingly, everything but golf.
"They don’t need [any] more soccer fields," said Dr. Sherman Gay, events chair of the L.A. Sustainability Coalition. "They do not need [any] more tennis courts. The ones we have, if you look at the all the soccer fields right now, they’re underutilized as it is."
"We have now, in the last 11 years, have lost five golf ranges and one golf course in our immediate area," said Eric Manley, a golf coach and teacher at Torrance High School.
He said the new plans would deeply affect golf teams from eight area high schools and Cal State Dominguez Hills. They all come to the course to play and practice. There is even a photo of the first golf team at Cal State Dominguez Hills from 1969 standing in front of Victoria.
Critics argue the course would be more profitable if the county made the effort to invest in it.
"If you go to any other area and stuff, they always continue to invest, but in the minority areas, they don’t provide the amount of support," Dr. Gay said.
Despite its poor condition, the course still attracts hundreds of golfers.
"The fact is this is the longest golf course length wise in the L.A. County system," said Ron Eastman, head golf coach at Cal State Dominguez Hills. "I’ve played them all, and it’s by far the most challenging of the courses."
It's also easily accessible and affordable for many in the surrounding communities.
"It makes you feel part of the community, and I don’t want that community to be gone," Manley said.
And they’re ready to go down swinging.
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