By Miranda S. Spivack
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 3:26 PM
Sligo Creek Golf Course, the nine-hole Silver Spring course beloved by women, seniors and minority golfers, will remain open at least another year, under a new plan outlined by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D).
Leggett on Wednesday called members of the Montgomery County Council to tell them he wants to keep the course open past its planned Oct. 1 closing date and is encouraging lawmakers to approve additional funds, despite a tight budget. He also will convene a community group to try to come up with a plan to keep the course open indefinitely.
The course, whose fate was the subject of a Washington Post report Saturday, had been slated for closure this fall. The Montgomery County Revenue Authority, which operates the county's public golf courses, said it was losing too much money. Golfers and neighbors have countered that Sligo is being singled out, even though none of the revenue authority's eight public golf courses are profitable. A heated meeting at the county's planning board July 16 brought out more than 100 residents, almost all favoring keeping the golf course open.
Keith Miller, head of the authority, has said the long-term prospects are brighter for the other courses, which all are 18-hole courses that golfers say are more challenging than Sligo.
Joe Hibbeln, a Sligo golfer and Silver Spring resident, said Wednesday that he is hopeful that Leggett's plans will allow Sligo to eventually thrive as a destination for golfers looking for a convivial, unhurried course.
"It is an appropriate response to the vigorous community cry to preserve what I call historical, minority, women, senior and kid-friendly access to golf," he said.