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Fee hikes will help courses

To their credit, the six Wichita City Council members who voted Tuesday to raise golf course fees clearly hated to do it. The sizable hikes in season tickets (for all but students) will be especially hard for many golfers to shrug off starting Oct. 1. But an affordable new "super senior" pass will help the most dedicated players 70 and up, and the extra $1 for regular green fees and cart rentals will add up for the city — and allow better maintenance of the five courses. It was telling that a new roof recently was deferred at the hail-damaged MacDonald clubhouse until the substructure could be rebuilt. Council members made a commitment to try to stave off more increases proposed for 2012, perhaps through selling driving range passes. Vice Mayor Jim Skelton said: "I cannot stand more deferred maintenance. Deferred maintenance, to me, is lack of maintenance, and pretty soon everything starts falling apart and you get a pile of junk, and I don't want that to happen to our city golf courses."