The city has hired a new director for its Eaglewood golf course.
Scott Gardner, currently golf director for Salt Lake City, will leave that post July 1 and begin work at the new course east of Bountiful Boulevard. The city will pay him about $50,000 a year plus benefits. A profit-sharing plan could boost that salary, said Collin Wood, city manager.Gardner leaves Salt Lake City after 17 years in its recreation department. Under his direction, the city organized the Salt Lake City Classic corporate games and built the Steiner Aquatics Center.
His golf-related accomplishments include:
- The organization of Utah junior golf in 1976, a move that now introduces hundreds of Utah children to the sport every year.
- The direction of construction of Wingpointe, 18 new holes at Mountain Dell and improvements to Forest Dale and Nibley Park golf courses.
"Hopefully, I've done a lot of things that will last well beyond my lifetime," he said. "I've loved the job."
His tenure has not lacked controversy.
Residents have criticized Gardner in the past, particularly when the city raised green fees. And some professionals blame him for the city's decision to pay them a salary instead of continuing a contract arrangement where pros take a portion of course profits.
Public criticism of his office reached a crescendo when Mayor Deedee Corradini pushed a plan that uses golf revenues to subsidize other recreation programs, a plan Gardner now openly challenges.
"I think this administration is taking a chance of ruining a good golf system," he said. "She (Corradini) is potentially jeopardizing it for the general fund gain."
Gardner said there was "a lot I could say about how disappointed I have been with this administration" but preferred to leave without slinging mud.
North Salt Lake hopes to open nine of Eaglewood's 18 holes this September. One of Gardner's first tasks will be to set fees and help officials hire a golf professional this winter.