Editor’s note: This is a letter sent to Oak Ridge City Council by the Oak Ridge Country Club in response to comments made during a City Council meeting in January, when Council considered whether to provide $120,000 for the city-owned Tennessee Centennial Golf Course.
Dear Council Members:
On behalf of the membership and Board of Directors of Oak Ridge Country Club (ORCC), I would like to take this opportunity to express our displeasure in councilman Rick Chinn stemming from a statement made during a recent City Council meeting, which subsequently made it to public media outlets. During that meeting Mr. Chinn, in defense of his vote against allocating funds to Centennial Golf Course, stated that, “there is another private golf course in Oak Ridge that is also struggling.” Due to the fact that ORCC is the only private golf course in Oak Ridge, one can conclude that he was referring to our club. I would like to take a moment to address that completely unfounded and inappropriate comment.
Oak Ridge Country Club was founded in 1947 and will celebrate its 70th year in existence this year. ORCC is not funded by the City of Oak Ridge. We currently have 275 golf members and over 440 members total that maintain the financial stability of our club, without city or state assistance. Our club is not remotely a fair comparison to Centennial when it comes to taxpayer dollars spent in the city of Oak Ridge.
Of that membership of 275 golf members, a good percentage are individuals and families that come from outside the city of Oak Ridge (Powell, West Knoxville, Hardin Valley, and Kingston, to name a few), thus bringing dollars into our city’s economy. Our club annually hosts events for Tennessee Golf Association, Tennessee PGA and Knoxville Chapter PGA. All of these events bring players from all over the state of Tennessee into our community, to our hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc. [Read more…]