The Battle to Stay on Course In Uncertain Times

Mid Morning on a Saturday in July, at the Links Course of Paso Robles, California, the smell of oak pit Bar-B-Q drifts through the clubhouse, as tri-tip sandwiches are prepared, while walk-on patrons pay for green fees and a generous bucket of balls to warm up with, before venturing out on their Scottish links-style journey.  Wide fairways and sizeable greens invite the long ball, but strategically placed grass bunkers and scattered sand hazards, as well as vineyard-lined out-of-bounds and coyote bushes on several holes, make what at first blush seems to be a very forgiving course, have a little bite to go along with it's somewhat deceptive soft bark.  Those with no local knowledge would never know that the amiable young proprietor, Brandon, and his friendly staff, had been keeping this golf course operating for the past several years, while the ownership, and ultimate fate of the course and commercial development surrounding it, remained in limbo.        
When the company developing the property fell into bankruptcy, the continued operation of the golf course seemed doomed.  Undeterred by such events, however, and despite having no capital margin to work with, Brandon decided to obtain permission and license to keep the course operating, while the trustee and investors attempted to iron out the issues associated with determining it's ultimate disposition...a process that has continued for over two years now.  Meanwhile, the gates remain open, fairways and greens remain green, and few signs of the shoestring budget on which the operation continues to function are apparent. The efforts to keep this low key, relaxed operation alive, for the locals and out-of-towners that tee it up here, are appreciated not only for the recreational benefit they continue to provide; but because of the knowledge that his love of the game and the lifestyle it provides; with no guarantee of an ultimate outcome, drove Brandon to embark on such a venture. Unfortunately, while this particular scenario may be somewhat unique, the distressed nature of the industry is not, and many courses across the country are falling victim to these uncertain times. At least for now, however, until circumstances beyond his control determine otherwise, and in the true spirit of Team Bogey, Brandon will Keep Battlin', so the refuge known as the Links Course can continue to provide peaceful sanctuary for boastful banter and clubhouse camaraderie.  In doing so, Brandon easily deserves to be recognized as the latest Team Bogey Battler.