NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)- It is the golf course next to our area’s most popular road. Lake Wright Golf Course was opened in 1967, the same time, that section of Interstate 64 opened for use. Picturesque Lake Wright was the borrow pit used to help build I-64. But now after 47 years, this public golf course is closing, to make room for a proposed Simon Outlet Mall. “I don’t like it at all. We come out here a lot and its a blast and its a great golf course.” Earl Byrum.
Joe Sigafoos is getting in one more round with his two sons. They have been playing Lake Wright for nearly 15 years. “Were sad to see it go. We have been playing out here for many years it’s close to home and they keep the course up really nice,” says Joe Sigafoos’
A public course with so much public appeal. The course designed by Al Jamison is Cheap, friendly and wide open. The course has its handful of regulars and they are not happy about seeing this course closed down. “Its picturesque. The lakes and the trees and the flowers. It’s really a wide open place you can enjoy.:
Ken Sanderson says the City of Norfolk is making a mistake. “You get the city of Norfolk wanting to bring people to this fine city and they take the golf course away. The people are going to come down, they don’t want to go to an outlet mall, not the guys. They want to play golf,” says Ken Sanderson.
Conrad Parker has been playing Lake Wright since 1981. He says the grounds crew keep the course in great shape.
“You find other courses in the area that get half the number of rounds we get. They are not in half the shape we are in. Like I said, this is a blue-collar country club.”
The course has a lot of history. Claude King was head pro at Lake Wright for 30 years. The course record 60 is held by his son Keith King.
The regular crew who have history of their own at this course will be looking for other golf options. “I have been playing golf here for 25 years and I think it’s a shame they are closing down the golf course. I just hope the city of Norfolk can compensate the citizens with some other form of recreation,” says Sanderson.
Yes the regulars at Lake Wright will one day face another dilemma. Will they shop at the mall that replaced their favorite golf course? “You know I’ve been thinking about that. That thought went through my head today. My first thought was, I don’t think I’ll shop there, but I probably will,” says Byrum.