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Published on February 26, 2024
Flint Strikes Deal to Keep Municipal Golf Courses Open Amid Uncertain NegotiationsSource: Unsplash/ Robert Ruggiero

Flint, Mich., residents and golf aficionados can breathe easy, at least for 2024, as Flint's two beloved municipal golf courses are set to stay open following tense negotiations — just don't let Mother Nature have her say, ABC12 reported. The city has arrived at a fresh deal with Flint City Golf after failing to reach an initial agreement on course management; this new lease on life for Swartz Creek and Kearsley Lake golf courses hinges now on spring's timing and temperament.

In a classic nail-biter for the Flint community that loves its links, negotiations teetered on the edge of despair, with Frank Preketes of Flint City Golf laying it bare earlier in the month, stating he couldn't commit to a future that was only guaranteed through the end of this year but after some back-and-forth, an agreeable sum was reached, and Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley confirmed the $72,000 management fee deal that includes a revenue sharing clause, mlive.com detailed.

The tentative agreement, struck on Friday, February 23, came in the nick of time as golfers were eyeing the upcoming season with growing trepidation. Not only does the deal ensure that local duffers and putters will be teeing off once the frost thaws, but it also backs the Flint Junior Golf Association's (FJGA) 86th season, characterized as a crucial element in providing youth access to the sport by Michelle Pattan of the FJGA, according to WNEM.

As per the details swirling around the green, Preketes has the courses slated to open around April 15, but don't hold your breath because if the skies clear and the grass peeps green before then, those golf balls will be airborne even sooner; still, the negotiations for future seasons remain a fairway hazard Flint City Golf and the city will need to navigate, as implied by Preketes himself. As the ink dries on this tentative arrangement, which must pass before the City Council, Flint's golfing future, for now, seems less in the rough and geared up for — hopefully — an early birdie of a spring.