Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Renovations may be coming to Twin Brooks Golf Course

ST. PETERSBURG — While on the campaign trail last year, Mayor Rick Kriseman found time to play golf at Twin Brooks Golf Course with his 11-year-old son.

He said he found the condition of the 18-hole, par-3 course at 3800 22nd Ave. S to be disappointing: Its irrigation system was worn and had no real drainage. Built in 1957, Twin Brooks is the oldest municipal course in the city. It can't compare with Mangrove Bay's regulation course and its smaller nine-hole, par-3 course at Cypress Links, both at 875 62nd Ave. NE.

So Kriseman recently proposed to the City Council that Twin Brooks' 18 holes be reduced to 12. Three of the 12 holes would be used primarily by the First Tee in St. Petersburg, a nonprofit organization that introduces youth to golf. Adults would play on an elongated, more challenging nine-hole course.

He asked that the city's Weeki Wachee funds finance the alterations. No dollar amount has been set yet pending council's approval, but he expects a favorable result.

"All of our city amenities better be equal, no matter where you live," Kriseman said.

On a recent Monday during peak season at Twin Brooks, a dozen golfers said equal isn't an improvement. Many are comfortable with a short course that can be conquered within two hours.

"He's got to consider that this is a small golf course with families," said Childs Park resident Shelley Odom, 71, who has been playing at Twin Brooks since the 1960s. "Leave it how it is."

"It's stupid," said Jim Garvey, 76, of Tierra Verde. "It's a fun place, why change it?"

Twin Brooks, they said, is the perfect course to improve your game.

"To tighten up on a short game, this is the place to do it," said Ken Barthelette, 62, a visitor from Maine. "This is the course to get good on. Anyone can play the long game."

Twin Brooks is informal, said Eddie Barrow, 74, of St. Pete Beach, who plays the course once a week. "If they want to make it into a kiddie course so be it, but no, I won't be coming back."

Golfers are split on the necessity of a new irrigation and drainage system.

"It's nothing you can't wade through," said Jim Maxim, 84, of Scranton, Pa.

Brad Kinsler, 22, has worked at all three golf courses as a supervisor, grounds keeper and pro shop attendant. Though change at Twin Brooks is overdue, he thinks regular customers might be upset that the course will be closed in the summer for renovations.

"Separation should be good for customers when they don't see 20 kids out on the range," Kinsler said, referring to the plan to give First Tee its own holes.

The course could use a golf cart path, he said. Without a path, the course loses customers and money from cart rentals.

He says the clientele at Twin Brooks is different from those at Mangrove Bay or Cypress Links. Most of Twin Brooks' golfers are aging snowbirds who stay in the beach communities.

"It just kind of depends on how it's going to be worked," Kinsler said. "Older people like shorter courses."

The developments at Twin Brooks also leave room to build a learning center for the First Tee. The center will be home to an adult-youth mentoring program, after-school homework and study program, and a health and wellness program, First Tee executive director Rick Waltman said. The organization has set a goal to raise $311,000 for the center.

"Where we feel where we have more impact and the most relevance is the south side, and that's where we want our home to be," he said.

Colleen Wright can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8913. Follow @Colleen_Wright on Twitter.

 
Comments
A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors aren’t happy.

A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors aren’t happy.

CLEARWATER — The first thing John Trevena noticed about his new neighbors was the color of their house: Pepto-Bismol pink.It didn’t worry Trevena, a criminal defense lawyer who moved into the three-bedroom rental home next door in 2015."I knew it was...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality store did...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving the post to take a new role with the parent company of the electric utility.Harry Sideris was appointed this week to serve as vice president and chief distribution officer overseeing Duke Energy’s six-state ...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

TAMPA — Circle K is converting the gas station portion of eight of its Hillsborough locations to Circle K fuel. Previously, the fuel was provided by other brands, such as Shell. The new Circle K branding also brings with it the Canadian-owned conveni...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
DNA linked former police officer to serial killings

DNA linked former police officer to serial killings

SACRAMENTO — A DNA match in the past six days tied a former police officer to some of the crimes committed by a California serial killer behind at least 12 homicides and 45 rapes throughout the state in the 1970s and ‘80s, police officials announced ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

The Rays have called up LHP Jonny Venters, the former Braves star reliever who has not pitched in the majors since 2012.Venters, 33, had been at Triple-A Durham, posting a 1.59 ERA in 5 games, after a strong showing this spring for the Rays.He has re...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

The Rays and Orioles are going to try again to play tonight, though the tarp was on the field this afternoon and a light rain falling with heavier precipitation expected later.The Rays, who called up veteran reliever Jonny Venters this afternoon, are...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student ‘did what he had to do’

Sheriff: Sunlake SRO who took down student ‘did what he had to do’

At a news conference on Wednesday, Nocco identified the officer as Richard Stackon, who joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1994. Stackon has spent "several years" as an SRO, Nocco said, and he had nothing in his file "that stands out." Around 1 p.m., Noc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
State Road 54 closed after state trooper injured in crash

State Road 54 closed after state trooper injured in crash

WESLEY CHAPEL — A motorist suffered a medical emergency and crashed into six cars at a Wesley Chapel traffic light Wednesday, injuring a trooper, the Florida Highway Patrol said.The trooper, whose injuries were not life threatening, was airlifted to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Yelp search results reflect racist stereotype that Asian restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflect racist stereotype that Asian restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 1 hour ago