There’s not much golfing going on at the municipally owned Belle Park Fairways golf course right now.
High water levels and flood damage has kept the course closed so far this year.
The city of Kingston has been looking into alternative uses for the property.
Over 1,000 people responded to an online survey this summer. The city’s manager of recreation facilities, Adam McCluskey, says it’s one of the highest responses the city has had to any of their online surveys.
“We were able to structure the survey in a way where there was a golf specific section, a naturalization specific section, there was outdoor recreational opportunities and sort of other, so you might want to come here for a nature walk and you might not even fill out the golf perspective.”
McCluskey says the city has also consulted with golfers and other recreational groups in Kingston.
“Pickle ball people, I will mention the rugby people as well but there were other people looking for sports fields whether it be ultimate frisbee or soccer or lacrosse that sort of thing.”
John Clark is with the Kingston Panthers Rugby Club and says they’ve been actively looking for a home and the golf course property offers many of the things they’re looking for, like an existing structure for a potential clubhouse.
“We’re looking for two pitches, maybe one to start with, but we’ll need two pitches because of the numbers.”
The club has also raised money to potentially partner with the city on costs.
But the possibility of losing the golf course isn’t sitting well with golfers that play at Belle Park.
They feel that course use wouldn’t be on the decline if it was properly maintained.
Mike Sammon, a golfer, filled out the online survey. “It could be well done if it was maintained, more staff and upkeep was better, you’d get more people here I’m sure of it.”
Harley McIntosh has played at the course for years and says it has been allowed to decline over that time.
“What throws everybody out and makes them not come back is that the fairways are so uneven you lose the balls right in the middle of the fairway.”
City staff will present council with recommendations in a report this fall based on the survey results and other consultations.