Future uncertain for struggling Lynnwood golf course

LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- Yet another local golf course is in financial trouble and in jeopardy of shutting down.

The future of the Lynnwood Municipal Golf Course unknown, but unpaid loans could lead to its closure.

A state audit released this week shows the city of Lynnwood has loaned the course $3.7 million over the last four years, and course officials say they can't afford to repay the $1 million plus that's still owed.

I idea of losing the course isn't sitting well with many local golfers.

"I would really miss it big time," said Tim Hooks, who works in the pro shop.

The city council was allowed to loan the 18-hole course more money from another fund -- the city's utility fund -- as long as it followed a repayment schedule that included interest. Auditors say that didn't happen. They also accuse course officials of breaking state law by giving discounting a non-profit group's tournament and letting PGA members play for free.

"There's a bottom line and that's what you gotta look at," Hooks said.

Local golfers love the beauty and challenge of the course, but the number of users has been steadily dropping since it opened in 1991.

"I'm hoping they can find somebody else to operate it and keep it as a golf course," said golfer Don Crews.

That's one of the options the city will consider over the next three months. The city could also find a different way to subsidize the course or close it and liquidate the assets.

The course is especially popular with local seniors, who say it keeps them healthy and saves the government money.

"I tell my doc I'm still walking and I'm not taking a cart," Hooks said.