Lady Golfers ‘Up in Arms’ in North Tonawanda

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By: Brendan McDonough, Reporter for North Tonawanda

Tee times being cut in half have women across North Tonawanda up in arms. 

For the past five years Brendan McGinnis and her friends have gotten together at the Deerwood Golf Course on Monday evenings. Team captain Jean says she got a call on or around November 28th telling her to move the group’s tee time and to split the league into two different groups. Both of which would have different start times. The reason they say was to free up tee times for walk-on golfers. 

McGinnis says it’s not fair that her league was order to be restructured after five years of problem free nights.

“This is an 18-week league and we pay a $480 season fee to the City of North Tonawanda to guarantee our tee times,” said McGinnis. “This has been paid consistently and on time for five years with no problems. We are always on time and sometimes we even get sent out early due to the availability of the course.”

In addition, McGinnis says they are a mature group of women who respect the game and the course they play on. What’s worse, she says, is that other leagues have formed after hers and she wonders why things have not been restricted based on seniority.

“How was our league chosen,” said McGinnis. “There are currently forty-one golf leagues and only five of them are women. We are the only working women golf league in the City of North Tonawanda that plays in the evenings. We are consistent revenue to the golf course as well as the restaurant and bar.”

Common Council President Eric Zadzilka says he reached out to the group to try to come up with a solution.

“Did you get my email? In it I suggested that Alex would be at the meeting. He may be able to answer some of your questions. But what I did not hear back was if we could set up a meeting and if we would not answer your questions that to come up with a plan to try and accommodate you in a better manner,” said Zadzilka.

Director of North Tonawanda’s Youth and Park Department Alex Domaradzki says the group was not singled but the City is just looking for a way to free up time for those individuals who are not in a league to be able to enjoy the course.

“First off you are not being singled out in any way,” said Domaradzki. “The reality is that we have a municipal public golf course that is essentially being privatized by the enormous number of leagues that we have playing. Basically, if you are not in a league, it is very difficult to get on the course.”

He says it’s not just this group of women but in the twenty-nine leagues that play Monday through Thursday they are asking twenty-three of them to make adjustments.

The goal is to condense 27-holes into 18-holes and free up a 9-hole course for those golfers who want to walk on and play.

McGinnis says she plans to continue to meet with City officials to come up with a workable solution for her and the league of lady golfers.

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