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Kissing Tree’s course is not truly public

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, November 25, 2018

Editor,

Regarding your article on local golf by Drew King entitled “Kissing Tree becomes first Texas public golf course to open in 6 years” (Friday, Nov. 16), I wish to take issue with the alleged “public” nature of the Kissing Tree course. Kissing Tree is a privately-funded course, built primarily for the use of the residents of a gated, privately-funded residential community. The fact that it is “available to the public for daily-fee play” does not make it a public course. 

A truly public course is completely taxpayer-funded and operated by an appropriate government agency directly accountable to taxpayers and voters. Typically, the physical layout, fee structure, and accessibility of a public course is in keeping with the socioeconomic profile of the general taxpaying population. 

The Kissing Tree course is unquestionably a well-designed and managed state-of-the-art motorized-play facility, quite suited to the expectations of serious golfers.  However, it  does not fill the popular niche of the defunct 9-hole walking course (motorized carts not obligatory as they are at Kissing Tree) at Aquarena Springs where no tee times were required, and the fee schedule ($10 there vs. $40 minimum at Kissing Tree) was reasonable for golfers of low to moderate income levels and with a wide variety of golfing experience and skill levels. 

Scott Cook

San Marcos