Mike Bickley can't see the Muirfield Village Golf Club greens from his Dublin home of 17 years. But that doesn't mean he isn't upset about a proposal to put a permanent fence around the golf course's 5- or 6-mile perimeter. Bickley was among the 200 or so Muirfield residents who attended a homeowners association meeting last week to listen as course officials detailed their idea for the fence around Jack Nicklaus' course, home to the PGA Tour's annual Memorial Tournament and, this year, the Presidents Cup.
Mike Bickley can’t see the Muirfield Village Golf Club greens from his Dublin home of 17 years.
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t upset about a proposal to put a permanent fence around the golf course’s 5- or 6-mile perimeter.
Bickley was among the 200 or so Muirfield residents who attended a homeowners association meeting last week to listen as course officials detailed their idea for the fence around Jack Nicklaus’ course, home to the PGA Tour’s annual Memorial Tournament and, this year, the Presidents Cup.
Jeff Stucke, president of the Muirfield Homeowners Association, said they were told that a 4-foot high, black, wrought-iron fence is being considered. Stucke said it was expected the fence was to be in place before the Presidents Cup in the fall because course officials have expressed concerns about security, trespassing and vandalism.
During the Memorial, a temporary netted fence circles the course. It’s the permanence of this one that angers residents.
The people at the association meeting voted unanimously against the fence and hope city officials will stop it. Course officials asked the city about the procedure for a fence on March 20, but no formal plans have been submitted.
The golf course eventually would need to have the plans approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The homeowners association wants to avoid an all-out battle.
“We are making this loud and clear that the fence isn’t something we want. If we can stop it, great,” Stucke said. “If not, we certainly want to partner with officials to come up with alternatives that make everyone happy.”
The golf club isn’t commenting, and Nicklaus and his spokesman could not be reached. The PGA Tour did not respond to email requests for comment.
The Muirfield community includes more than 2,400 homes and 8,000 residents. Bickley lives on Moray Court, a short walk from the course’s driving range.
He has an online petition with more than 500 names added over the past few days and a “Keep Muirfield Beautiful” Facebook page.
“I respect Jack Nicklaus, and he is one of our heroes in Dublin,” said Bickley, a 54-year-old marketing consultant whose home office is peppered with photos and autographs of the golf legend. “ But this community was built on the principle of open spaces. A fence is elitist and says you’re building a kingdom.”
The homeowners association maintains 29 miles of walking/bike trail throughout the neighborhood, much of it rimming the course. Although a fence would mar the view of some 200 homes that front the greens, it also would affect everyone who uses that trail, Bickley said.
Columbus lawyer A.C. Strip, a former Dublin city councilman, has lived in Muirfield for 30 years and submitted the resolution objecting to the fence at the recent meeting. “This is a bad decision, and the people who live here have a right to have their say about it.”
Stucke said the association leadership and the Muirfield Civic Action Committee hope to meet with course executives soon.
“We understand the value of the tournament and the club, and we respect everyone involved,” Stucke said. “Now, we want the same value and respect placed on our homeowners in return.”