I read with great interest the article in the Dec. 18 issue of the Deseret News about the use of Salt Lake golf courses. It is nice that Catherine Hoffman, the city Public Works director, is pleased with a 14 percent decline in the number of nine-hole rounds played, and feels that these figures are "healthy." Although golf is more popular than ever, 1994 will probably show another decline.

I am a senior citizen, but I play with friends who are younger. We no longer play the city courses. I keep a record on the computer of the courses I play. In 1992, before the change in policy, I played 64 nine-hole rounds, 57 on city courses. I was on a first-name basis with the pros at many courses. I purchased from the pro shops and took lessons from one city pro. The other three in our foursome did the same.In 1993, after the decision to raise green fees, use golf money for other recreational programs and institute a computerized reservation system, I played 84 nine-hole rounds, but only five on city courses. I no longer know any city pro by name. I no longer make purchases from the pro shop nor do I use the city pros for instruction. Our regular foursome will continue to play out of the city until the current policy changes.

Mayor Corradini and Catherine Hoffman should quit trying to justify this change and instead of taxing golfers to support other recreational programs they should continue to build golf in Salt Lake City.

Robert D. Emery