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The Presidio Golf Course wants you to know it has a special government deal!

The military is still operating hundreds of golf courses around the world, despite the federal government shutdown. (Image Source: Shutterstock.com)

Fore!

Friday afternoon, I received an email from a senior media official of the Presidio Trust asking me to correct the record concerning its’ golf course and the shutdown. The public green, which according to the National Park Service and the Presidio.gov website sits on national park land, has a special deal with the US government. It is not under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service or the Interior Department.

Unlike Joyce and Ralph Spencer, the elderly Nevada couple who were kicked out of their privately owned home at Lake Mead, the elite golf course was never in danger of harassment during the shutdown by the national park goons.

And unlike the Cliff House, a privately owned concession on the same national park land as the golf course, the Presidio Trust is allowed to operate freely without government interference.

The media point-person made it clear that they are self-sufficient and do not use taxpayer money to run their services. While I can’t be certain, I suspect that Joyce and Ralph could make the same claim about their house payments.

The Presidio Golf Course insists to me that while every website relating to their operations identifies them as a national park facility, including the National Park Service and their own website, they are, in fact, a separate, private entity. I have asked if they own the land outright. Still waiting on an answer. I will keep you updated.

You can read my email exchange with the Presidio representative below and draw your own conclusions.

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From: Polk, Dana

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 3:15 PM

To: Holmes, Amy

Subject: Correction request for 10/10 story

Hi Amy,

Your recent story, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ALLOWS GOLFERS TO TEE UP DURING SHUTDOWN, had some inaccuracies. You describe the Presidio Golf Course as being run by the National Park Service, and also identify it as being on the same land as the Cliff House. Neither are true. The Presidio Golf Course is run by the Presidio Trust, a federal corporation that is financially self-sufficient and runs the Golf Course, and most of the Presidio, without taxpayer funds. The Golf Course, and many other visitor services on the Presidio, have been open because the Trust is not subject to the government shut down. The Cliff House is located at Land’s End - parklands that are operated by the National Park Service. It is not located on the Presidio. I would greatly appreciate it if you could correct these misstatements in your story, which is still active on the Blaze website.

Please feel free to contact me the next time you write a story on the Presidio. I am happy to answer any questions you may have to prevent further confusion.

Thank you,

Dana

Dana Polk

Senior Advisor, Media and Government Relations

The Presidio Trust

From: Holmes, Amy

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 1:34 PM

To: Polk, Dana

Subject: RE: Correction request for 10/10 story

Dear Dana,

Thank you for reaching out to me.  In writing my piece, I used the resources available at your website, both .gov and .com, as well as the National Park Service.

These officials sources provide the following information:

  • The National Park Service lists the Presidio as a national park on its website:

http://www.nps.gov/prsf/index.htm

http://www.nps.gov/prsf/planyourvisit/outdooractivities.htm

“The park also contains numerous sports facilities, including a golf course, bowling alley, tennis courts and athletic fields.”

http://www.nps.gov/prsf/historyculture/index.htm

“Since 1994, the Presidio has been a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.”

http://www.presidio.gov/explore/Pages/presidio-golf-course.aspx#.UmGJRmTD-M8

“Presidio Golf Course is located just inside the Arguello Gate. It is also home to a full-service restaurant and bar known as the Presidio Cafe, as well as a pro shop.”

“When the Presidio became a national park site, the course was opened to the community, and a new public clubhouse was built in 1999.”

  • The Presidio golf club website seconds this description:

http://www.presidiogolfclub.com/about/club-history

1993 - The National Park Service announces its plans for the Presidio. The golf course is to be open to the public.

2000 - Clubhouse renovation completed

  • The Golden Gate National Recreation Area also includes the Presidio as part of its park land, along with Golden Gate Park.  It lists both the Presidio *and* the Cliff House as “things to do and see” while enjoying the national park facilities.

http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/index.htm

http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/places.htm

  • On your “frequently asked questions page”, the very first “FAQ” that the Presidio Trust provides describes the park as:

http://www.presidio.gov/about/Pages/frequently-asked-questions.aspx

“a distinct public park site within the 75,500-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), the world’s largestnational park in an urban area. It is also a National Historic Landmark.”

  • Contrary to your description, I do not state that the National Park Service runs the Presidio Golf Course.  I write that:

“the golf club operates as a private vendor on national park land. Unlike the Cliff House, however, it is a member of the nationally renowned Arnold Palmer Golf Management empire which oversees 74 golf clubs, public and private, across the country, including the posh private Hoakalei Country Club on the island of Oahu.”

http://www.palmergolf.com/public/list/

From this trove of information, a reasonable person would conclude that:

  1. The Presidio golf course sits on national park land, along with a public clubhouse and café.
  2. It shares the same national park land as the Cliff House as indicated by the National Park Service.
  3. Like the Cliff House, it is privately run.

If the details provided by these official websites is incorrect, I am willing to review any new information you can provide.

Thank you,

Amy

From: Polk, Dana

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 5:16 PM

To: Holmes, Amy

Subject: RE: Correction request for 10/10 story

The Presidio is a National Park Site, but it is not under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. The Presidio Trust is separate from the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior and, as I mentioned, does not rely on federal funding. The Presidio is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), an area that spans 60 miles. The Cliff House and Presidio are in separate areas of the GGNRA. I’m sorry if the websites were misleading but a simple phone call would have clarified the situation and prevented the many mistakes in your story.

Dana

From: Holmes, Amy

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 2:26 PM

To: Polk, Dana

Subject: RE: Correction request for 10/10 story

In my piece, I state that the golf course “sits on national park land,” which you agree it does.  I report that it sits on the same national park land as the Cliff House, which you also agree it does.  I also point out that it is privately run, which it is.  Whether the distance between the golf course and the Cliff House is 60 feet or 60 miles, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area boasts both the Cliff House and the golf course as features of the largest national park in an urban area.

If any of the above is incorrect, I am happy to review any new information you can provide.

Amy

 

From: Polk, Dana

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 7:05:10 PM

To: Holmes, Amy

Subject: RE: Correction request for 10/10 story

The Golf Course is not privately owned. It is owned and managed by the Presidio Trust, which does not receive federal appropriations. The Presidio Trust and the land it manages are not part of the national park system (that is why we call it a national park site rather than a national park). The Cliff house is on national park land and that is why it was closed. Basically, the premise of your story is incorrect.

Dana Polk

 

From: Holmes, Amy

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 8:14:47 PM

To: Polk, Dana

Subject: Re: Correction request for 10/10 story

Dear Dana,

I didn't suggest the course is privately owned, as you surely know if you read my piece. I was clear. I specified that it is privately managed, which you agree to be true.

I never wrote that the Cliff House is located in the Presidio, which you accused me of writing. I indicated it was located on the same national park land as the golf course, which you also concede to be true.

The only question that remains is: is the golf course on national park land or not? The answer is yes.

I'm happy to run a correction to the headline. But you have asked me to correct statements I never made.

As for the rest, that would seem to be with you, the NPS and the official information that your organization and the NPS are happy put out about park goers enjoying national park land.

I'm sorry that from your perspective you feel your organization was unfairly singled out. But nothing I wrote was incorrect. As for ascribing statements to me I didn't make, that's just... Well, not true. What I wrote is available for anyone to read.

Amy

One last thing…
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