Vandenburg A.F. Base Golf Course Closing Over Water Costs

One of the best military base golf courses in the country is another casualty of California's drought and rising water prices.

Dave Alley of KEYT files a full report from the nearly 60-year-old course.

"It's the price of water," said Col. John Moss, 30th Space Wing Commander. "The price of water and what it requires to water the course has just gotten to the point where it's prohibitive for us to be able to afford that. This year alone would have cost us several hundred thousand dollars to water the course and it's just money we don't have."

The course, which opened to public play in 2005, has been sustained by non-appropriated funds during that time span. However, escalating water costs has made operating the course financially unsustainable. As the price of water has risen steadily over they years, the base has had to tap into MWR funds to cover costs.

"We are taking immediate action to ensure we are good stewards of our funds," said Josie Cordova, 30th Force Support Squadron (FSS) deputy director. "When the MWR Fund is in danger of bankruptcy, that threat includes potential closure of our other base support functions."

To help cut costs, the course implemented a series of measures over the past several years to conserve water, including installing more efficient water infrastructure.

"We stopped watering the middle of the fairways and reduced the amount of water we were putting in the course overall and ultimately we're at the point we're at now and we were only watering the greens and the tee boxes and even that wasn't enough," said Col. Moss.

I've played the course many years ago and saw it again in recent years and it's a gem on great terrain. Really a shame.