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Lawton Municipal Golf Course Has New Operator

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LAWTON, Okla_After much deliberation, the Lawton Municipal Golf Course is officially back in business.

During a special meeting on Wednesday, the Airport Authority voted to hand the keys over to Lawton resident Joe English.

English, who beat out the Comanche Nation for the rights to the course, will take over the remainder of the existing lease, making him the caretaker of the course through 2019.

Joe English played his first round of golf about 25 years ago, and ever since he's been playing at Lawton Municipal a couple of times a week. But it wasn't until recently that he ever entertained the idea of actually running a course himself.

"A part of my life has always been fixing stuff up. So with my hobby of playing golf and wanting to see this place better and kept alive, when they said they were closing it's just kinda like a light bulb come on and said Joe, you can do it, " said English.

So after two months of meetings and proposals and brainstorming, English is now the proud operator of the Lawton Municipal Golf Course.

"I have the equipment to do it. I have the love for the course, and the ability to keep the course open quickly, " English explained.

He's got many improvements planned but the most urgent is working to control the geese that frequent the pond in the middle of the course.

"If I can control the geese, the pond is not the problem, " said English, "My goal is to control the geese so it makes it safe for the airport, and to clean the pond up so it looks nice for the course."

The FAA has strongly encouraged draining the pond to cut down on the geese population. But through research, English believes using decoys and non-harmful chemicals on the grass will be more effective in detracting the geese.

"The most I can understand it takes a ton of just bugging the geese, making it to where they don't feel comfortable, " English said.

English said he's formed a tight bond with all of his golfing friends, and it's important to him that Lawton has Muni for years to come. And by the gleam in his eye, you can tell he'll go the distance.

"It's just gonna be a good project, something I'm gonna do. I'll stay after it until it gets done."

Friday was the first official day of golf under English's operation. Over 50 golfers turned up, and were thrilled with the new management and happy that Muni is living to see another day.

English also said golfers can expect to see lots of new deals in the coming months, including twilight golfing hours and hopefully, a tournament or two.

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