Watch CBS News

Bergen County Golfers Eager For Course Upgrades As Sport's Popularity Grows

NORTH VALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Some Bergen County golfers want answers -- why has one heavily used public course been allowed to deteriorate?

As CBS2's Steve Overmyer reported, it's being allowed to fade away as golfing increases in popularity.

Parts of the 'blue 9' at Rockleigh Golf Course in Bergen County, remains only a memory.

"Right now, you've got a stinky par 3 over here, and a little stinky par 3 over there," Jerry Doyle said. "It's golf, but it would be nicer to have the par 5 back."

Heavy rains flooded the course 10 years ago, and the water remained. Drone Force2 was flying along what used to be the seventh hole, but a decade of growth has left it, and the eighth hole unplayable. The temporary solution was to rework the holes around the marsh, keeping the shortened course open at a slightly discounted price.

"It needs a lot. People joke about it all the time, there's some dead animals out here. A lot of feces, very swampy, and not well maintained. You get lost in the maze because there's a hole eight missing on here, and if you're new to the course you don't even know how to get to the next hole," Ted Yoon said.

In 2010, the parks department obtained a permit to renovate the blue 9, but the project was never funded and the permit ran out.

Now, restoring the hole would likely cost more than $1-million, and the county has decided to find alternative uses.

"If we sense the interest is there, I would move in the direction to perhaps look at something like a par 3, or executive 9," Jim Koth said.

The blue course was downgraded just as golf exploded among players who don't belong to clubs.

Bergen County's five public courses, including the red and white at Rockleigh, have shouldered the load since two local country clubs shut down -- that's why the compromised blue course hurts.

"I need my blue," one golfer said.

Koth said a change can be expected soon, but the odds of that change being a return to a normal nine, are about the same as getting a hole in one.

The final decision on the fate of the blue 9 will be decided when the parks department submits its master plan budget by the end of the year.



View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.