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Bringhurst Is Getting A Lot Of Attention Lately Now it needs a little action. TOMPKINS: Encouraging to see quaint local course get attention

Even if it doesn't come before the Alexandria City Council at its meeting tonight, Bringhurst Golf Course will be discussed before the meeting by the Finance Committee.

The ancient par-3 course on Masonic Drive has been without a manager since last month when Jamie Trotter -- the last in a line of Trotters to manage the course the last 50 years -- gave up the family's lease on the course that was built in the late 1920s.

Tom Roese, the greens keeper at the city's Links on the Bayou course, has been temporarily tending to the greens at Bringhurst for no extra pay.

Even though nobody is running the course, some folks continue to play on the coarse layout at no cost.

"Some of the greens are OK," Roese said. "Some are pretty long and some have some disease on 'em. It'll probably take pretty much the rest of the summer to get 'em growing back right."

The city's parks and recreation crew, meanwhile, has been maintaining the rest of the course, and Darren Green, the city's urban forester, has determined some trees on the course need pruning so more sunshine can get through.

A group of several city officials and Booker T. Booze, a BellSouth employee and avid golfer, met Monday afternoon to discuss the Bringhurst course, and another group discussion was held last week, and it included Lamar White Jr., who heads a group that is interested in taking over the management of the course.

"Everyone wants to see the course become more youth-friendly and more retiree-friendly, and become a course where golfers who regular play 18-hole courses like to come to tune up their short games," said city councilman Chuck Fowler, who fondly remembers playing at Bringhurst as a youth.

The course does not drain well. It needs better irrigation and, preferably, lights, which could also benefit the zoo. The clubhouse needs refurbishing or even a new location, and the parking lot needs to be enhanced.

Brewer said the city might consider amending its contract with M Squared, Mike Mitton Management which manages the Links on the Bayou, to include maintenance of the Bringhurst greens, and to ask for proposals from groups interested in managing the course.

"We've gotten one very good proposal," she said of the one from White's group, "but we want to see if there are any others out there."

There has also been talk of getting The First Tee of Central Louisiana involved at Bringhurst, confirmed Lou Dechert, the director of the program based at the Golf Club of Timber Trails. The First Tee's mission is to introduce golf and core values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship to young people of all backgrounds.

Brewer said it's "possible" that the city might work out a contract with a management company within six weeks, but that's probably optimistic, considering the slow pace of government and the need to check every facet of a proposal before agreeing to it.

Even so, the attention being given to the quaint, popular course is encouraging.

"I think good things are coming to Bringhurst," Fowler said. "My compliments to the Trotters. They did a magnificent job for years, but I'm looking forward to the future of that little course."