On Tuesday, the Tucson City Council voted 6-1 to move forward with strategizing for the Randolph Opportunity Study plan, which would alter the golf complex near Reid Park.

The Randolph Park and Golf Complex hosts two 18-hole courses Randolph North and the Dell Urich course on the south side. Along with their practice facilities and a driving range, the property totals over 300 acres.

This proposed plan would widen the David Bell Multi-Use path lining the perimeter of the land, and create another path cutting through the two courses to draw in more outside traffic to the on-site amenities.

It would also revamp the clubhouse, provide additional length and shade for the driving range, repurpose the rarely-used skate park, create more “pocket parks” and install Rain Gardens to catch excess storm water.

However with these changes, the championship-level courses would lose holes and alter overall game play, resulting in pushback from long-time golfers.

I just think golf provides quite a bit of different and diverse value to the city and we should not mess with it,” expressed Terry Finefrock, who has been coming to Randolph since the 90s. “Whatever you do, go slow. Dont do big, drastic things…and find a compromise that everybody can live with.

The Randolph course opened in 1925 and is the longest one in Tucson. It was also voted in GolfPass.com’s 2023 Top 25 Most Improved Courses.

Another opposed golfer James Wilson forwarded KGUN 9 a letter he wrote to the council in November. He said changing the historic layout is “borderline criminal,” as his mentor, the late golf great Dell Urich (who is the namesake of the neighboring course), dug some of the bunkers himself.

“I feel certain that…[he] is turning over in his grave watching this proposal unfold,” Wilson said in the letter.

Council member Steve Kozachik was the only one who voted “no” to the proposed plan, stating in the Tuesday meeting shortening Randolph is “cannibalizing the golden goose that is subsidizing the entire golf enterprise.”

Kozachik also says green prices and maintenance fees would increase, and the proposed center path would disrupt inhabiting wildlife.

Plus, getting project approval from Pima County Flood Control and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could take years.

Mayor Regina Romero disagreed with his opposition.

“I think it’s actually short-sighted to not at least take a look at what the possibilities are in front of us,” she pointed out. “I don’t believe in scare tactics and that shouldn’t cut short the conversation looking forward.”

Council requested City Manager Michael Ortega come back to a later meeting with a more in-depth game plan for how much this project will cost and where funding could come from.