MIDDLETOWN — This is not the way things have been going these past several years for The Golf Courses of Madison County.
Lapel's nine-hole layout, Brockway Golf Course, closed. Up in Alexandria, Yule Golf Course was turned out to pasture. At least nine holes at Cattails in Elwood have been shut down and there is fear the other nine might not be far behind.
The same thing happened a couple of years back to Valley View Golf Course. Jeff and Sue Sanders, farmers by vocation and certainly not golfers, were ready to purchase the land and turn it into more farmland.
"We had just purchased a farm just west of the golf course," said Jeff. "We've got a bunch of cattle so we would have used some of it for them."
But the family is from Middletown, and even without the love for golf, they still thought the course, built in 1964 by Elbert and Vivian Ratliff, might be salvageable.
"We would drive by it every day," said Sue. "It just seemed sad."
So they began to take steps toward purchasing the land with the idea of reopening the course. They talked to lawyers for what they agreed seemed like about six months. But whether the land would be used for golf or for crops would likely be sealed in the turn of a tap.
"The first thing we had to do was to check on the water," said Jeff. "If the water (irrigation system) wasn't working, that would have ended it. So we got a water pump, and we had water everywhere. First hurdles passed."
Next the greens needed to be rebuilt and reseeded.
"We found out about some new grass that we thought would work perfect for us," said Jeff. "We started reseeding it in October."