Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sims Oak Hills Golf Course Sale of facility is a sign of how times have changed

Posted on Sept. 16, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Sept. 16, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.

I have written two other times about Sims Oak Hills Golf Course. The first was to present my case as to how valuable SOHGC has been, and should continue to be to the citizens of Elkhart and the surrounding area. The second was to let people know SOHGC is not a run-of-the mill daily fee/municipal golf course. It was designed by Bill Diddel, a famous golf course architect who was also a Hoosier legend in other endeavors.

I’ve heard from hundreds of citizens thanking me for attempting to convince Elkhart leaders to return SOHGC to the once-great facility it has been through its 40-plus years.

To no one’s surprise, the death of SOHGC is still in the works. That brings me to this writing and how times have changed.

I have a copy of the Nov. 6, 1968, letter addressed to the Elkhart City Council written and signed by Ernie Sims.

Briefly, the letter spells out how the golf course should be viewed by the citizens of Elkhart as an affordable place for all families who want to play and/or learn to play — a facility that would attract people and business to Elkhart, whether for the day or to settle.

“We (he and his wife) decided (then) and still believe, that the surest way to preserve it (SOHGC) for the enjoyment of those for whom we built it and to permit the achievement in full of its splendid potential was to turn it over to the local citizens to be operated by their elected and appointed representatives.”

Yes, local citizens own SOHGC. For more than 40 years, city administrations have respected the desires of Mr. and Mrs. Sims and their dream. They never considered selling a property intended for the very people they worked for.

Sadly, times have changed.

Tom Conway


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