An Oct. 11 letter titled “Fix the greens” suggested it would make more sense to replace the greens at the Charleston Municipal Golf Course than to install sprinklers in terms of overall course priorities and needs.

The new irrigation system that the writer spoke of is the first step in making overall improvements to the course. With funding in place for this phase of capital projects, we chose the irrigation system as the first project because water is the lifeblood of any course and without it you can’t grow grass. Once the irrigation system is in, we will be able to continue on to other projects that are needed on the course. This includes working on greens and tee box areas.

The Municipal Golf Course has a capital plan in place and replacing the greens is one item in that plan. The staff and management have to categorize all of the needs of the course and prioritize them. Sometimes those priorities must be modified. In time all of these needs will be addressed, but it can’t happen overnight.

The greens have been spongy this year due to the large amount of rain we have had. This is not isolated to the “Muni,” as all of the local courses have had spongy greens this year.

I agree with the letter writer that the greens need to be replaced, but to say that they are unplayable is incorrect. The club champion just last month shot a 66 on the course, and the junior champion and runner-up shot 67 in the middle of the summer. Those types of scores don’t happen on unplayable greens.

The Municipal Golf Course is a recreation facility for the residents of the City of Charleston. It is the intent of the city to keep the course available and accessible for people on fixed incomes and juniors to have an affordable place to play golf.

While we all appreciate the opportunity to play on top level championship courses, in today’s economy it is critical to offer reasonable and affordable places to play. That place is the “Muni.” Given the pricing that we offer, we do not make a profit and the golf course is not a “money maker” for the City of Charleston.

Every golf course has its clientele. Because we are a reasonably priced course, we have school children, teenagers, seniors and beginners who can’t afford the high cost traditionally associated with golf.

The “Muni” is serving the needs of our customers and 65,000 rounds a year is proof. We invite everyone to enjoy the course even while the work is being done, and we look forward to a great year of golf in 2014.

Herb Whetsell

General Manager

Charleston Municipal Golf Course

Maybank Highway

Charleston