Local (Sarasota, FL) News

*Recent letters to the editor regarding the Forest Lakes Golf Course

Forest Lakes Golf Course A Lost Jewel

Give me a break! Crying over the demise of baseball in Sarasota County? How about the demise of affordable public golf courses for the legions of average golfers who live here?

I’m talking primarily about Forest Lakes, Foxfire, and Sunrise. Three courses that have been ravaged by developers with our county leaders consent. Forest Lakes, once known as the “Jewel of Sarasota” because of its fine course, restaurant and great location, is now a wasteland of overgrown, unkept vegetation. Where once a beautiful golf course with joyful dining and dancing captured our imagination, now sits mounds of sand and dry brush.

This is not only shameful and sad, it borders on criminal negligence because county leaders have been warned over and over of the fire potential on the dry course. When it happens–and it will!–I pray no lives will be lost. However, even if one home is touched by this future conflagration, I believe a lawsuit against the county is in order.

Wake up! Stop listening to the handful of fanatic snowbird baseball fans and listen to the thousands of golfers living here. Take some of that $54 million for an unnecessary new baseball stadium and give us back our golf courses.

Another plea

I am overjoyed that someone else wrote recently about the sorry plight of our local public golf courses. For more than two years I have advocated that Sarasota County use some of the money it is willing to spend on an unnecessary new baseball complex and take over the Forest Lakes Golf Course and turn it into an affordable public golf course.

Because of its central location and past reputation, Forest Lakes is the logical choice. For those of us who have lived here for any length of time, we know that Forest Lakes was once considered the “Jewel of Sarasota” because of its immaculate golf course and its superb dining and dancing facility. Today, Forest Lakes is a wasteland.

Our county leaders need to stop listening to the fanatical few baseball fans who are clamoring once again for millions of dollars for an unnecessary stadium and pay attention to the legions of year-round average golfers in this area who now have but one or two affordable public courses on which to play. We have sat by and watched the desecration of Sunrise, Foxfire and then Forest Lakes golf courses. How long must we wait until our county leaders hear our plea?

E. P. Burke