Butler County Times Gazette
  • Prairie Trails looking into relocating driving range

  • The El Dorado City Commission is looking at the possibility of relocating the driving rage at the Prairie Trails Golf Course.
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  • The El Dorado City Commission is looking at the possibility of relocating the driving rage at the Prairie Trails Golf Course.
    The plan is to relocate the driving range west of its current location, placing it between holes two and five on the course.
    "It will give us a better ability to utilize a driving range as what it needs to be," said Jason Hughey, general manager of Prairie Trails Golf Course.
    The current driving range is 65 yards wide and about 185 yards long, which they said was not long enough for many golfers. The new one would be 115 yards wide and 300 yards long.
    "Most people can't hit their driver," Hughey said of the current driving range.
    The area they are putting it in is zoned for development in the future, but nothing has been done with it for some time.
    "When we bought the facility, we talked about building some lots there to offset some of the costs," said Mayor Tom McKibban. "Is there anywhere else we can put this not to upset those lots?"
    Herb Llewellyn, city manager, said the lots are right where they are proposing the driving range.
    "It is a policy question," Llewellyn said. "There is a platted subdivision directly south and to the east and another just adjacent to the north of the golf course. We need to think about do we want to compete with private development today? Is there such a demand we ought to do this? I'd like you all to think about the timeliness of that subdivision. At some point it would be a great place for a subdivision."
    He said they could move the driving range when they reached the point they wanted to develop that subdivision.
    To move it, Prairie Trails staff would do the work, which would include building a new t-box and raising that about five feet, as well as shaving down the hill some.
    "Prairie Trails Advisory Board is recommending you consider this," Llewellyn said.
    One question all of the commissioners had was the costs associated with this.
    "I think the idea for a better driving range is a great idea," said Commissioner Bill Young. "There is not any driving range now. I am curious of what the cost will be."
    City staff will put together cost estimates and schematics of the plans for the Dec. 3 City Commission meeting. If they move ahead, the new driving range could be ready by spring.
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