NEWS | Dec. 4, 2020

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller 502d Air Base Wing Commander

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to jbsapublicaffairs@gmail.com using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Q. I have been debating over the last several months how to best address my concerns on the state of the two Fort Sam Houston golf courses.

My concerns are as follows.

1. The driving range area is in need of repair. The protective netting around the driving range was damaged over a year ago by very high winds and have not been repaired. This can be a hazard to golfers teeing off on several of the holes or players walking in and around the driving area.

Several years ago, automatic tee machines replaced the old worn out driving mats. They lasted approximately two years and suddenly they were replaced by the old, nonfunctional driving mats. When asked why they were removed the answer was that they were too costly to repair.

2. The men’s bathroom and locker room bathroom need to be upgraded. The bathrooms often smell bad and really need to be remodeled. Many military and civilian events are held at the golf course clubhouse and it does not reflect well on the U.S. military when the bathrooms are in the condition that they are in.

3. The myairforcegolf.com website for tee times in not under control of JBSA, but needs to be mentioned. It does not meet the needs of the membership, it is not user friendly and is often not functioning. It does not reflect the need of the two courses.

At Fort Sam Houston on Mondays, one of the two golf courses are closed for maintenance or tournaments. Members do not know what course is going to be closed. This is not reflected when tee times are made on myairforcegolf.com. Members make reservations and find they were made on a closed course.

My recommendation is to have the golf course management publish (posted at the Pro shop and on the website) when and what course will be closed seven to ten days in advance so when tee times are requested we know what courses are open for play, the same for tournaments. It is not fair to the members to go the golf course with a confirmed tee time and find it is has been changed.

4. The golf course itself has some very good holes with fair to good fairways and greens, while some holes need some work. Lots of trees are still down from the storm more than a year ago and need to be removed. When trees fall or are removed, new trees should be planted.

I know that these concerns may seem frivolous in the times we are currently facing. However, golf courses are a place where it is easy to maintain social distancing, provide much needed relief, and provide a boost to a suffering economy.

A. Thank you for your concerns. We are currently in the final stages of repairing the netting damaged during storms in 2018. It was a long process, but the contract has been awarded, and the contractor should be beginning the work within a month.

We agree that the netting is an eyesore and it was a priority to get fixed. However, we hope you can understand that issues like this sometimes take a while due to the many requirements that need to be met to be able to award a government contract. New mats for the driving range are currently on order.

Secondly, we can assure that there are many upgrades we would like to do to the facility, and the bathrooms are on the list. We do not have a timeline for when that will happen, but we are considering all aspects of our facilities that need renovation.

Next, we will definitely pass on your feedback to the folks that manage the myairforcegolf.com page.

We would like to take this opportunity to ask that you make sure you have the JBSA Golf Clubs app on your smartphone. We are currently working to make booking your tee times available on that platform. That is where you will find the most up to date information on course closures if there is maintenance being performed, as well as find great information on promotions and programs.

We are also working on a new webpage specifically for JBSA Golf that will include a calendar, where we can share maintenance closures with you. In the meantime, we will work on better publicizing those planned closures.

Your feedback will be passed on to our maintenance team. It helps tremendously to give them perspective from our customers.

As with the improvements to the facility, the same goes for our course. We consider this to be of the utmost importance, as the course is what brings individuals to our facilities.

I know the team is tackling a lot out there with the intention of giving you the best product possible, and planting new trees is not something that will be overlooked. I would encourage you to stop in and visit with Steven Griffith, the manager for FSH golf course, and share your views or call 210-222-9386.

We will be passing all that you have shared on this forum, but having that open dialogue is important so he can make sure and use the feedback to shape plans and decisions.