Famous golfer Greg Norman once said, “Happiness is a long walk with a putter.” For those new to the area, you might be interested to learn that El Dorado Hills was founded on this notion when it was designed as a golf course community.

Newcomers to EDH may also be interested to know that the large area of ​​dead grass on both sides of Serrano Parkway wasn’t always this way. It was a beautiful 18-hole, green, oak-filled golf course that the community enjoyed for over 40 years.

I recently joined the HRE Community Service District Board of Directors hoping to make a difference in a city that has been so good to me and my family. One of the main ways I thought I could do this was to help solve a very controversial issue… what will happen to the old golf course?

Is this land nostalgic for me? You bet. I learned to play golf with my father on this course. I saw with my own eyes many old people using it daily, as well as children learning to play. He provided jobs for teenagers picking up shooting bullets and old people as marshals. It was an affordable place to practice driving range. It provided the community with another venue for meetings, meals, events, etc. And, perhaps most importantly, it was the gateway to our community.

Now, unfortunately, we have none of that. As a resident for over 35 years, it pains me to see the grounds in their current condition. Once the pretty ponds have dried up. Trees are dying all over the property, creating a fire hazard.

A rezoning vote on this land is quickly heading to our County Board of Supervisors. We need to understand what it is currently zoned and what it might look like, as well as what a rezoning might look like. We need our HRE supervisors to fight for HRE. We need a compromise that takes into account our leisure needs.

For this reason, I bring to the community an idea that I believe could strike a balance with the proposed project while preserving the history of part of the land, providing a recreational space for all ages, being a driving force economical for our region, and restore part of the property to make it the beautiful welcoming gateway it once was.

The popularity of golf has exploded in recent years. Tiger Woods even recently worked on revamping a short course at Pebble Beach called “The Hay”. His company, TGR Design, runs short courses around the country. Why? Well, short courses have simply reinvented the game of golf. It’s not a pitch and putt junky. It is a well designed and perfectly maintained course. It’s affordable (even free for some ages), fast (games can be played in just over an hour – a plus for busy families), walkable (great exercise and no carts needed), and multi-generational . The holes could be designed to replicate smaller versions of Robert Trent Jones’ old course. An idea like this would preserve what this town was founded on…a golf community.

I can see a small driving range along the south side and the old clubhouse revived, becoming a great local restaurant that could be used for dining, meetings, weddings, etc. Although the Serrano Country Club is beautiful, it is private and we need an option that the whole community can access and afford.

It can be programmed to go beyond traditional golf with footgolf NS disc golf, yoga “on the green”, senior golf lessons, night golf, outdoor movies and concerts, children’s camps after school/summer, First Tee and Youth on Course programs. . Oak Ridge and college teams could practice on the course. If designed correctly, it can have walking paths and use the latest irrigation technologies and water-saving plants/grasses, making it environmentally friendly.

The CSD, which does not own the property, is holding a special public meeting at the former golf course on May 19. The next planning committee meeting will take place on June 9. I ask our supervisors and planning commissioners to insist that it be housed at EDH so our residents can intervene. I encourage you to attend both meetings.

If we work together, we might have our own version of “The Hay” – maybe even call it “The Hills!” I challenge our county leaders to fight for what the residents of EDH want and I challenge the landowner to work directly with the CSD to bring back something historic and great for all to enjoy, while helping the land values ​​at EDH .

I appreciate the comments on this idea. To learn more about the project, visit eldoradohillscsd.org or see more examples of short courses by visiting tgrdesign.Tigerwoods.com.