First Tee Of Chattanooga Golf Program For Youth Loses Its Charter; UTC To Continue Using Hickory Valley Site

Friday, September 22, 2017

Officials said First Tee of Chattanooga golf program for youth has lost its charter and a program in conjuction with the UTC golf team at the city-owned former Hickory Valley Golf Course on Hickory Valley Road will be disbanded.

The First Tee program lost its charter effective last Dec. 31, officials said.

The remaining parties - the city and UTC golf - are terminating the shared use agreement.

However, UTC golf will continue to practice at the site.

Larry Zehnder, former city public works director, had announced in 2009 that UTC would have one area for use as a practice course and driving range.

Mr. Zehnder said up to 25 percent of the available spaces for First Tee instruction would be reserved for youth who attend city recreation centers.

There is a charge for the instruction, but it is affordable and up to 25 percent do not pay, Kathleen McCarthy, First Tee of Chattanooga executive director, said at the time.

First Tee was to get a 25-year lease with the possibility of an extension from the city. There was no charge to First Tee.

First Tee has been in operation here since 1996, but this was its first home course. It had previously used the city's Brown Acres Course.

Ms. McCarthy said the group had a $1.5 million fundraising goal to complete facilities at Hickory Valley. She said $475,000 was in hand or had been committed, and the group's board planned to proceed with some construction.

Nearby, the city bought 20 acres of lowlands from the Armstrong family using $620,000 from a state flood mitigation fund.

Officials said a lake would be built on the property to help curb runoff causing flooding in that vicinity.

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