Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 Fort Worth Reporter
The 80-year-old Z Boaz Golf Course in west Fort Worth is about 60 days from closing and the city is revealing its plan for the area.
Much to the golfers dismay, an 80-year-old golf course on Fort Worth's west side is getting closer to becoming a city park.
Z Boaz Municipal Golf Course is about 60 days from closing. While there was a chance to keep it open, the city is already out with its first plan for the soon-to-be created park.
Dozens of players braved the triple-digit temperatures Thursday, most all of them aware and less than thrilled that they will have to find somewhere else to play come Oct. 1.
"I just hate to see it," Wayne Wayman said. "I think there's other places they can cut in the budget to save it, but the powers at be are going to do what they're going to do."
When the City Council passed a resolution to approve the transition of the course to a park earlier this year, there was still a chance to save it. All that had to happen was a drastic increase in rounds played before Sept. 30.
"If there was any substantial change in the use of the golf course, there would be a willingness to relook at it, but that hasn't occurred," said Richard Zavala, director of the Parks and Community Services Department. "This is a long-term issue that's developed over the last 20 years."
The reduced number of rounds at Z Boaz thanks to more courses in the area means the course does not pay for itself. The city also has a lack of green space and parks on the west side, so the transition made sense to the city.
On Wednesday night at a public meeting near the course, residents got to see a preliminary master plan for the park. The plans -- which aren't final just yet -- include sports fields, playgrounds, an aquatic facility and a dog park. All of the elements could be phased in over the next 20 years.
"It takes time and money, but you begin with a plan, like you would with any other venture," Zavala said.
And that plan, much to the dismay of the Z Boaz regulars, goes into effect at the end of next month.
"Close the golf course on one day and reopen it as a park," Zavala said. "While it won't be fully developed, its going to be defiantly be usable. One-hundred-thirty-eight acres in the middle of a big city -- it's definitely a good thing."
But between now and then, the regulars plan to hit the links there as often as they can.
"It's going to be a sad day, so the last day it's going to be full," Richard Ingram said.