Atlanta city officials are proposing transferring ownership of the Bobby Jones Golf Course to the state of Georgia, according City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean.
Councilmen C.T. Martin, on behalf of the city administration, this week introduced legislation at Atlanta City Council that would transfer the historic Buckhead golf course and the city’s portion of the World of Coke property to state ownership, Adrean said.
A second piece of legislation would transfer state-owned property near Underground Atlanta to the city, said Adrean, who represents District 8, which includes the park.
“As you know, conversations have been ongoing around this matter for some time,” Adrean wrote in an email to constituents. “The introduction of this legislation … comes before many of us believed the conversation regarding the future ownership of Bobby Jones was resolved.”
The state has agreed to invest $50 million in the golf course, the councilwoman said, and would grant an easement restricting use of the property to recreation and golf in the future. “I just want to make sure for future generations that it’s always a public facility,” she said
The renovation would include renovation of the city-owned course named for the iconic Atlanta golfer, the addition of golf facilities for younger players and would keep the historic clubhouse, she said. Adrean said the state would lease the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center back to the city.
“The most important thing to me is that we preserve that greenspace,” Adrean said during a telephone interview May 17. “I would prefer it remain a city park, but the state has resources we don’t have.”
The proposal does not include transfer of the “passive” portion of Atlanta Memorial Park that does not include the golf course or tennis center, she said.
Adrean said public meetings to discuss the proposal should be scheduled soon.
Previous meetings held by the city to discuss proposals to renovate the park have drawn overflow crowds to the golf course’s clubhouse. Golfers have complained that plans considered by the Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy and the city have included redesigning the historic Bobby Jones course as a nine-hole course rather than an 18-hole one.
Atlanta Memorial Park Conservancy officials issued a statement saying they are waiting to hear from state officials about their plans. The statement said the conservancy “is seeking to fully understand more about this pending legislation and potential beneficial impact to the park. In light of the recent announcement, we welcome the opportunity to fully engage with the state of Georgia to better understand this possible development.”
Adrean also said she wanted to hear state officials outline plans for the gold course. “Stay tuned,” Adrean said.
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