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Clapp Golf Course Set To Close In August


A date has been set for the closure of Clapp Golf Course, nearly a year after the park board first voted to close it.

City Council members on Tuesday voted to close the course in southeast Wichita on Aug. 2, but future plans for the space are still undecided.

The council wants to develop a master plan for the 90-acre park based on months of feedback from residents. Amenities could include restaurants, an amphitheater, retail space and a library.

But some golfers, like Cindy Renard, said Tuesday they want to see Clapp remain a golf course.

"We have been here before. In 2011, in 2014, last summer, and here now," she said. "Through the years the conclusion has been that this land is at its greatest and best use as a golf course.

"How many times do we, the golfers, have to fight and convince you, our leaders, that Clapp Park means more to us and is more valuable as a golf course than it could ever be in any other form?"

She asked the council to hold off on closing the course until an independent review — by a group like the National Golf Federation — can be conducted on the city's struggling golf system.

Other residents complained that throughout the public input process, the city steered the conversation away from golf.

“Absolutely we tried to get the community to think differently," said council member James Clendenin, "knowing that the Golf Advisory Committee, the park board and the city council were showing desire to close the golf course.”

Mayor Jeff Longwell said as the master plan is formed, he would like to see it include a "golf element," if possible, such as a shorter course within the park.

The city’s golf fund currently runs a deficit.