I just got home from a delightful day of golf at the lovely old City Park Golf Course. I usually play with a group of old geezers like myself. We rarely score well at Santa Maria or Beaver Creek, relying instead on the shorter and friendlier City Park Course in our attempts to shoot our advanced ages.

One of our group is 88. Now only driving the ball about 130 yards, he has had to quit playing the longer courses but can still enjoy a good day at City Park. Another has a bad ticker and finds City Park less taxing. Lots of old retired folks play there all the time, believing the City Park area belongs to all of us, not just to the neighborhood.

Certainly, no one expects a course to remain open just for the pleasure of old guys. But I taught all my three young children — now in their 40s and 50s — how to play and enjoy golf on that venerable old course, and I’m sure many of you did, too. You’ll still see all ages out there enjoying that old course.

Baton Rouge High still brings its golf team there to practice.

As we trundled along in our carts today, I wondered: Suppose the movers and shakers get their way and the flags are pulled out and discarded, the course leveled, and ... . Then what? What will take its place? There are tennis courts, a croquet green and an art exhibit facility already there.

There are already sidewalks surrounding the course, usually full of walkers and joggers. Inside? Just more grass and trees — and golfers.

Who is going to maintain nature trails if there are no golfers to supply green fees? Picnickers and litterers?

As we got to the second green, we found deep horseshoe tracks right across the green surface. If our night-time police force cannot keep moronic horsemen off of a midtown golf course, who will keep the criminally stupid out of a hiking area?

You know what will happen if that course is eliminated? The tiny group of neighborhood nature walkers will hike around for a little while, and then the movers and shakers will descend with bulldozers and concrete, cut down the live oaks, and turn the wonderful old City Park Golf Course into condos, gas stations and McDonald’s eateries. Wow.

There is plenty of empty space all around this city. Go out there and build all you want. Leave our lovely and historic golf courses alone.

Harold Place

retired chemical engineer

Baton Rouge