Today we could say that if you want to play disc golf at Rycenga Park in Spring Lake Township, you have to police it and maintain it.
But maybe it’s already too late.
The township has decided to remove the 18-hole course that was installed in 2005 because of ongoing vandalism, beer cans, profanity and people parking along Hemlock Drive. The disc golf equipment was removed this week.
The township in May posted signs warning players that, if bad behavior continues, the course would be closed.
“We've tried a lot of different things — like putting up signs — but they either write on them or rip them off,” Spring Lake Township Supervisor John Nash said. “We tried to encourage the people who are positive disc golfers to monitor the ones who are acting inappropriately. Nothing has changed.”
Nash said disc golfers have also been cutting down and twisting saplings on the course, and leaving beer cans and trash behind “almost continuously.”
The closing has caused an uproar from the people who use the course. They should channel that energy into doing something positive about the problem, instead of just whining about it.
It could well be a small minority causing the problem. But it won’t be the first time that the behavior of a few has affected the rights of many.
Some people who use the course and are passionate about keeping it open have organized and plan to present a petition to the township, seeking the reopening of the course. Maybe those in charge will give you a mulligan.
But, if they do, members could take turns policing the course and cleaning it up on a regular basis. That surely isn’t asking too much if you love the game and want it to continue. The township doesn’t have money in its budget to keep making repairs and cleaning up the mess. Even if it did, why should it be spent on that?
If the course remains closed, those who used it and abused it have no one to blame but themselves. They have been warned, but it hasn’t helped — so now all the disc golfers will pay the price.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.