Ocean Springs Considers Golf Range For Recreation Complex - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/11/04

Ocean Springs Considers Golf Range For Recreation Complex

City leaders in Ocean Springs are considering a new site for another sports complex.

Plans for a large recreation facility on city-owned land near Highway 57 have stalled for years because of wetlands concerns. That's why some are pushing a proposal that involves a golf driving range.

Tee boxes and range markers could be replaced with soccer goals and tennis courts. The 19th hole driving range may one day focus on sports other than golf. Ocean Springs is considering a plan to turn the nearly 12 acre site into a city sports complex.

"There are certain facilities that need to be centrally located in Ocean Springs, such as a multi-purpose center, skate park, tennis facilities. Things that kids can ride their skateboards to or bikes. And parents can drop them off relatively easy," said recreation director, Damian McKay.

McKay says the golf range site could be developed quickly.

"Has no wetlands whatsoever on it, can be developed on immediately. It has structures on it that can be utilized which in turn we wouldn't have to build," he explained.

"They do have a need. And it's easy to get to," said driving ranger owner, Charles Carr.

He's the longtime owner of the golf range and adjoining RV park. He's willing to negotiate with the city.

"It's central. Kids, they come here with skateboards and you have to run them off. Build a parlor out here, and let 'em go,"said Carr.

If city leaders approve this recreation complex proposal, the golf balls which now cover the driving range field may be replaced with soccer balls instead.

"Can basically put soccer goals up out there and we can be playing," said McKay.

He says the "driving range site" doesn't mean the end of the Highway 57 plans. This would be in addition to that location.

"This is only 11 or 12 acres of property. This is not a replacement for Highway 57, by no stretch of the imagination," he said.

By Steve Phillips

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