A "natural Trail" for Golf

Can playing too much golf can make you think a “natural Trail” looks like this?


The Interim CCT at the Columbia Country Club. Trail users are confined in a 16′ wide linear cage even though the public owns a 100′ wide right-of-way here.

Mr. J. Paul McNamara, President of the Columbia Country Club, wrote to the Montgomery County Council in a January 13 letter: “I, along with thousands of other Trail users, would be distressed to see this natural Trail degraded and the surrounding mature forest destroyed for a light rail Purple Line.”

The text of Mr. McNamara’s letter is cut-and-paste directly from Chevy Chase neighborhood activist Pam Browning’s call for emails to stop the Purple Line. Mr. McNamara presents himself as a trail user and does not disclose his affiliation with the Country Club in his letter. Perhaps Mr. McNamara feels this is necessary to preserve the “grass roots” appearance of the new club grass roots campaign to stop the Purple Line.

One wonders how Mr. McNamara can see the trail at his Country Club as it exists, narrowly confined between high black fences and treeless near the putting greens, and still believe it is “natural”. But maybe if you play a lot of golf at the Columbia Country Club, in time you begin to feel it is “natural” to play golf in the 100′ wide right-of-way that the public owns while the public is confined to a 16′ wide cage. Many of us who are not members of the Club would feel the Trail is more natural if, say, the fences were removed and trees were planted to replace the golf cart paths and putting greens now in the 100′ wide right-of-way. With 100′ to work with, we could widen the trail, share the corridor with the Purple Line, and still have more trees in the remaining right-of-way.

Transit on grass tracks alongside a trail.

If trees and grass tracks replace the golf cart paths and putting greens now within the Georgetown Branch right-of-way at the Columbia Country Club, we would have a more natural trail setting than exists there now.

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One Response to “A "natural Trail" for Golf”

  1. Bob says:

    Well my reply to this bash on an upper class country club is this: you are obviously just bitter that you cannot afford to belong to an esteemed club such as Columbia. I go to Congressional and if my country club was in danger of having a train running through it then I would be extremely perturbed. Another thing to consider is the fact that this Purple line won’t do any good. The path is also a source of enjoyment for thousands who walk this section of the path to see beautiful scenes of Columbia Country Club. I am just curious why you seem so angry at upper class people? I mean you obviously didn’t choose the right career because you can’t afford to belong to this country club or many in the area like it. Plus have you ever considered the fact that Columbia hosted a U.S. Open. That deems this a historic landmark that should not be disturbed. If it was a historic farm or something like that, nobody would consider touching this precious land. Just because you are less fortunate then the members of columbia and congressional and all the other clubs in our area doesn’t give you the right to bash this fin establishment.

    Columbia is one of the finest golf courses in the world and you want to take that all away for some silly purple line. Im just glad congressional isn’t in a predicament like this otherwise I would really be mad. Forget your ugly purple line.

    Long live Columbia and the Trail!