Taking another swing at Ocmulgee

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2002

Ocmulgee Golf Course has gotten its share of bad raps this year (including a column that ran in this space not too long ago.) No one can deny that Ocmulgee (one of two public golf courses in Selma and the only 18-hole public course) had its problems.

Greens on the course were dying and dying fast. Bunkers were filled with water serving as a hotbed for mosquito birth. And oftentimes, the grass on tee-boxes wasn’t even cut.

Criticizing something is easy to do. When you see a problem, it’s simple to take a look at the problem, write a few scolding paragraphs about it, and then move on. Believe it or not, that’s not the only thing newspapers like to do. When something good happens, it’s our job to point that out.

And today, I’m here to tell you that if you haven’t played Ocmulgee Golf Course in the past few months because you thought the greens were bad and the fairways weren’t cut, then you ought to make another trip out Highway 14.

Anybody who knows me can tell you what an avid golf fan I am. If you try to reach me on a Friday afternoon, you’d best make a trip to the golf course. I’ve played hundreds of golf courses around the state and nation (even though I’ve got a swing with more loops than a VCR tape attacked by the cat.) Never mind the swing, though.

Something incredible has happened at Ocmulgee. No, you won’t find Augusta-like greens there, and yes, some of the bunkers still have water in them; but the course is 1,000 times better than it was two months ago.

Because of my involvement in Selma golf — covering all kinds of tournaments — I know the people who have changed Ocmulgee. On a Monday afternoon, you’re sure to see at least one of them there.

The greens have come to life in a way you wouldn’t believe. There are still dead spots on the greens caused by tough winters and little rain, but they’re growing fast.

Repairing the bunkers will take time, but hole No. 17 has a bunker to the left of the green. If you look in that bunker, a drainage pipe is being inserted.

The tee-boxes have been improved greatly (thanks mostly to a lawn mower), and the fairways (when it doesn’t rain) are in splendid condition.

Yes, it’s easy to criticize when something doesn’t seem right. It’s a lot more fun to write about things when people in this community (and you know who you are) help make something better.

From all the golfers in Selma, I want to thank the people at Ocmulgee for making my Friday afternoon a little more enjoyable.

Now, if you’d just do some work on No. 16 and put a huge net to the left of the fairway, I’d appreciate it.