A popular 36-hole public golf course in the Cincinnati area is set to close for good, reports local affiliate station WCPO.
Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown, Ohio -- opened in 1972 -- will shutter its doors Nov. 9.
In 2014 the course was sold by the city of Middletown to auctioneers who, despite steady play, haven't been able to make the business work. Rated as high as no. 75 in the U.S. among public courses by Golf Digest in 1994, the property will be converted into a metropark.
From the WCPO report:
"I just gotta take it as it comes," [course professional and operator Jim] Kraft said. "When I called to tell my wife, she asked if I was crying. That sums up how I feel about this." Kraft has worked the last two years to save the course. He leased the course from Bowling to prove it is a viable business. "I thought maybe I could save it. I thought if I showed it could be a viable business, then maybe it would lead to a long-term lease." Kraft wanted to show the course could be a business opportunity opposed to an investment. "They thought it was best for them to go and sell it." Play has remained steady despite questions about the course's future the past two years. It has seen 50,000 rounds of play this year and 55,000 rounds last year, according to Kraft.
Weatherwax, designed by Arthur Hills, has been a steady four-star golf course on Golf Advisor. Our most recent review of the course, on Oct. 6, comes from a reviewer who had heard the sad news that one of their area favorites was closing:
I have always loved playing Weatherwax regardless of which 18 we were playing. Over the past 24 months rumors have been flying around about the course being sold, closing etc with the latest being this is the final year. We wanted to play it again while the weather was good and glad we did. Highlands played its usual tough self and was in pretty good condition then we moved on to Meadows. Meadows was in OK shape and no where near as good as the front 9. We decided to have a drink on the patio as it was such a beautiful evening and found out that the corse has 30 days left and will close on Nov 7th. We will be sad to see this gem of a course (4 9's), If you haven't played it or want to one last time do it now. To the staff at Weatherwax, thank you for the years of great golf.