OCEANSIDE — An online fundraising campaign, aimed at raising $400,000 to bring reclaimed water to Goat Hill Park golf course, fell short of reaching its goal.
This does not discourage the golf course management team, who said it is one of many fundraising efforts to pay for the unexpected cost of a water main that will link reclaimed water to the site.
Staff said they are appreciative of donors who contributed close to $18,000 to the Indiegogo online campaign. And added donations can still be made at the golf course clubhouse, and soon through the Goat Hill Park website.
Goat Hill Park, LLC has been a manager, advocate and fundraiser for the municipal golf course since July 2014.
“We’re fighting for it,” John Ashworth, a Goat Hill Park partner, said. “To keep it as a space open to everybody.”
Goat Hill golf course was built in 1952 on land donated to the city, which has rolling terrain and panoramic ocean views.
It began as an eight-hole golf course and was developed into an 18-hole course.
“It’s a short course with no dress code,” Ashworth said. “It’s super inviting.”
In the early 2000s new management came in, and ran the golf course “as is” without significant improvements.
A few years ago the city decided to provide minimum maintenance to the course. This led it to fall into disrepair. Ashworth described the golf course as “on it’s last leg,” at that time Goat Hill Park LLC took over management.
In 2014 there was also a proposal for recreational and commercial development of the site that did not include golf.
Community members protested commercial development of the city property.
The development idea did not go to a city vote. Instead it pushed Goat Hill Park LLC to stand up for the golf course and take over management.
The group promised to improve the greens and clubhouse, teach kids golf, hold community events and keep the golf course open.
Goat Hill Park is now home to the North County Junior Golf Association and Caddie Academy that serve Oceanside youth.
Ashworth said his efforts to stand up for the course are motivated by his love of golf and responsibility to the community.
“Golf is so positive,” Ashworth said. “Parents can spend time outdoors with their kids and grandkids. The lessons and virtues of the game are sportsmanship, honor, all the things society needs to have. I’ll fight to not loose that.”
Initial improvements have been made, and more are planned.
“Hopefully, eventually it will be sustainable,” Ashworth said. “That’s what the community (fundraising) effort is going for. So the prices can be kept low and the regular guy can afford it.”
An immediate need is replacing the main line and irrigation system by spring. The golf course will be receiving reclaimed water, which the dated line and system cannot uphold.
Once upgrades are made the golf course will have a drought tolerant reclaimed water supply. This local water source will not be subject to drought restrictions or pass through rate increases. Switching to reclaimed water will also take a sizable demand off of the local potable water supply.
For more information go to goathillpark.com.