I played my first round of golf here as a ten year old. I knew you were supposed to wear “spikes” so I wore my baseball cleats. Don Rountree, son of longtime pro, Hogan Rountree, came out on about the third hole to see what the heck was going on. He kindly asked me to putt with my shoes off the rest of the day.
I played my HS golf at Rogers in the 90’s and spent many an afternoon there. Still some of the best memories of my childhood. I honestly don’t know what my life would be like without this great game. Prairie Creek gave people (beginners, kids, blue collar, white collar) a chance to learn the game in an relaxed and laid back way. That’s something that is getting harder and harder to find.
I know Clay will have thoughts on this and maybe a few stories to tell. I hope he will share them.
First time ever on a golf course was there with Red Hudson and his son when I was about 8 years old. Will play my last round there Sunday. I live close and it’s hard to think I’m not three minutes from the tee box. Hope it gets bought and rebuilt.
Golf courses are struggling all over. We’ve had at least 4 shut down here in the Chattanooga area the last few years. When Rosswood in Pine Bluff closed years ago I almost shed a tear. So many wonderful memories there. We still tell the stories.
My apartment in North Carolina was built on what was the 10th fairway of a semiprivate course three years ago. The club website is still there, and the club tennis courts were taken over by the city as a park.
I’m sure, as bad as things have been for golf courses, the pandemic was the fatal blow for a lot of them.
My good friend Mike Pearson lived on S Park across the street from number 6. We grew up in the mid / late 70’s. We weren’t big into golf but we played 5, 6 and 7 with a driver and a 6 or whatever clubs we could grab out of his dad’s bag. Seems like we invented night golf on Prairie Creek under the moon and a couple of street lights…
While pre-pandemic all I heard was the financial woes of golf courses, but had heard that the pandemic had reinvigorated the golfing industry and play was up. I know that, especially last Spring when we all were in the first wave, going out by myself and walking the course was great refuge and a low exposure, unless the birds and snakes in the rough were carrying the virus (don’t know how I avoided tick exposure, but I was fortunate).
It would seem to me, the more long-standing courses that were not saddled with start-up/development debt and had a reasonably low base investment would be more likely to remain viable. I have wondered, even with the high costs of building materials, if the biggest threat to many older courses and clubs is the land they sit on being highly desirable for development
Am not familiar with Prairie Creek or many of the courses in NW Arkansas, being out of the area for almost 50 years and actually only spending much time at Paradise Valley while in college, but it always saddens me when we lose a golf course, because with costs being what they are, replacements are getting less and less likely.
Man I hate seeing this. Played a half dozens or so times there when I was in Grad School. Agree about the stout finishing holes. Finally posted a solid score the last time I played it (76), but I am pretty sure I never played those last 3 holes better than +2. (I tracked my stats back then, and I still have them… just not the hole by hole scores. I had to get up and down 8 out of 10 times to shoot 76… so I was ramblin’ and scramblin’ !) Tough track, the back, especially when the wind was up!
Sad how many courses have gone under the last few years!