[John LoSasso, President of the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association that runs the Frank Govern Memorial Golf Course, published the following letter June 30. It is reprinted in its entirety.]
Dear Neighbors and Friend of the Wilmette Evanston Golf Course Association,
This is a time of great challenge for the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association and a time of concern for the many Evanston and Wilmette residents for whom this unique facility has had such meaning in the lives, their memories and to their community.
There has been abundant rumor and speculation in recent weeks. The following can be confirmed.
1. There is no plan to turn over the operation of the course to any other entity, public or private, nor have we engaged in discussions that would have that effect. There have been discussions with interested parties that could result in contracting for essential services or expanding our use of concessions, particularly in the area of food and beverage facilities.
2. We have engaged in discussions with Evanston and Wilmette officials for the purpose of responding to their reasonable concerns that we have the resources to fulfill the conditions and purpose of our sublease agreements. These discussions will continue throughout the summer.
3. At this time, we have growing confidence that we will finish this season in a better financial position than last year. Not all factors that will affect this are under our control, least of all, the weather and the general economy. Our optimism is based on the increasingly positive response we are receiving from course patrons, and on the promising discussions with others who have volunteered to assist by providing financial support to the course. These discussions are private and sensitive. We will seek funding when work is completed on a development plan that is in process.
A Groupon promotion that was purchased by nearly 800 persons has brought many new players to the course, many of whom have already made several visits. This same promotion will be repeated in just a few days.
4. The condition of the golf course is better than it has been for at least the past year. Every effort will be made to make further improvements throughout the season.
5. Terry Govern is no longer associated with the course. Information related to the change in course management will be available in due course.
6. The water bill is of no immediate concern. We will receive the water that is essential to the course for the balance of the season and are working on proposals to the City of Evanston and Village of Wilmette for the future. We will share details of these proposals when they are finished and will seek your support.
7. We have had discussions of a very preliminary nature with the Director of the golf program at Northwestern University. The purpose of these discussions are to identify areas of common interest. We have no interest in any decision that would deprive the community of access to the course. We anticipate that these discussions will continue and should anything of substance develop, will make appropriate announcements. We have received no proposal from Northwestern or anyone associated with Northwestern.
We are optimistic. Among our important resources are the many who continue to come forward to express their love of the course and its history, and join in our effort to continue the long journey that began more than 90 years ago. This unique asset to our community will not be shut down over deficit issues that can be addressed successfully.
It is going to be a busy summer. We will communicate when we can do so in a substantive and responsible manner. Our need to provide for the continuance and upgrade of this unique asset to the community is best served by focusing upon improvements in our current operation and presenting a compelling and credible plan for the future.
John LoSasso, President
Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association