Fargo mulls age restrictions for municipal golf coursesThe littlest linkers may be barred from Fargo’s five municipal golf courses if a proposed rule change is approved by the Fargo Park Board at tonight’s meeting.
By: By Ryan Johnson , Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — The littlest linkers may be barred from Fargo’s five municipal golf courses if a proposed rule change is approved by the Fargo Park Board at tonight’s meeting.
Jim Larson, the Fargo Park District’s finance and human resources director, said the new guidelines would keep children 3 and under off the courses.
Kids ages 4 to 7 could golf, but they would need to be accompanied by someone 14 or older, he said. Each child of this age would need their own supervisor — meaning one parent couldn’t be responsible for two young children at once.
Larson said Fargo already has age restrictions for its golf courses, with current rules banning those 4 and under and not allowing children of any age to be in strollers or car seats.
But he said these rules “didn’t work well,” with parents often unaware of the guidelines or trying to convince course officials to allow their young children to play anyway.
Larson said the proposed change, which has already cleared the district’s golf committee, is a necessary way of keeping young children safe while ensuring other golfers don’t have to deal with slowed pace of play or poor etiquette.
“It allows us to be consistent on all courses,” he said.
Fargo has five municipal golf courses — 18-hole courses Edgewood and Rose Creek and the nine-hole courses El Zagal, Osgood and Prairiewood.
Recreation Division Supervisor Holly Heitkamp said Moorhead’s two public 18-hole courses — The Meadows and Village Green — don’t have any formal age restrictions on who can play. But parents are asked to supervise their young children.
Oxbow Country Club has no age restrictions, leaving the choice up to the parents, while golfers at Moorhead Country Club need supervision until their parents and the pro shop staff decide they’re ready to be on their own.
Youngsters are free to golf with their parents on Fargo Country Club’s separate par-3 course after they complete the junior golf program and pass a golf etiquette and rules quiz. As they get older, they can be approved to play solo on the full 18-hole course during restricted hours.
Joel Vettel, vice president of the Fargo Park Board, said the proposed change would create a unified policy for children and help “make sure everybody’s having a good experience” at the five city courses.
“I know that reasonable people can disagree on these issues, but if you look at the overall picture, I think most people will say, ‘OK, these rules make sense,’” he said.
The Park Board will discuss the proposal at 5:30 p.m. today during its monthly meeting.
Ryan Johnson is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.