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Praise for a golf course

June 20, 2013

This may not be a popular opinion in an environment of budget cuts and a weak economy, but I have to support the City Council for their efforts to save DeBell Public Golf Course, and I don't even play golf.

When I moved to Burbank years ago, the existence of this charming course, as well as other green areas, was one of the things that made this town stand apart from others. The fact that Burbank has so many venues for outdoor activity is the hallmark of a civic-minded community that values the physical and psychological health of their residents. The many parks, pools, tennis courts, a roller hockey rink (there's even a horseshoe pit near Victory and Buena Vista!) all help make Burbank a wonderful throwback to a gentler, more family-centric time.

The DeBell course is an institution that is part of that charm and tradition. I grew up in a community that didn't have a public course and only the wealthy and well connected could whack around a golf ball. So it was a real bonus moving to a town that had their own beautiful course. Even if I don't play golf, the simple fact that it is there and you can play if you want, makes a world of difference. The DeBell course is a reasonably priced venue available for use all year. Late afternoon hours in the summer cost only $10 a round; there's an easily accessible driving range and a nice par 3, nine-hole course for parents and kids for only $5. The Burbank recreation department offers dirt cheap golf classes for adults and children.

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My family doesn't play golf, but we sometimes drop by the clubhouse to have a really good, inexpensive lunch in this lovely setting, against the mountain and a stone's throw from Stough nature park. Yes, the golf course is an under-used resource in Burbank, but so are quite a few others. That doesn't mean they should disappear. I believe we are all better for their existence, even if it costs extra to keep them going.

Tom Abrams
Burbank

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