By Joe Holden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The renovation of the historic Cobbs Creek Golf Club is causing controversy. Some neighbors say the multi-million dollar makeover is going too far.

From the tip of the iceberg, it appears something really serious happened at the golf club — perhaps a storm or a tornado. That is not the case, this is all part of an effort to clear this historic golf course to make way for a brand new vision.

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Drone Watch 3 pilots above Cobbs Creek.

This calm waterway is known to be ferocious following storms and because of that might, for decades, raging waters chiseled away at the integrity of the linked Cobbs Creek and Karakung golf courses.

An aggressive plan took shape to rehab this historic public golf club after it was shuttered in 2020.

Millions and millions of dollars are earmarked to make the place a professional golfer’s destination.

Neighbors immediately took notice of the transformation.

“Well, it’s been a peaceful golf course. Like we used to sled there when we were younger,” Angel Goins said. “It does look like a storm came through now.”

In fact, so much of the growth and forests were taken down, stretches of banks along the creeks were visible for the first time in generations.

The landscape that was once dense with overgrowth, the view courtesy of Google Maps, is now bare.

(Credit: Google Maps)

Trees are down all over the place. The golf course looks post-apocalyptic.

Some wonder if they missed a major storm.

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There have been questions and criticisms over the number of trees removed.

The Cobbs Creek Foundation declined to speak with Eyewitness News on camera.

“It looks rough out there,” Councilmember Curtis Jones said.

This is in Jones’ district, and despite the present appearance, he is excited for the prospect of a revived course.

“After all of the disinvestment, that there is investment coming, some $60-million plus in an urban environment that’s going to increase property values for all of the folk in the neighborhood,” Jones said.

Meanwhile, Troy Walker says he and his neighbors are expecting a jump in property values when the ribbon is cut.

He envisions early evenings overlooking some action on the fairway from his back deck.

“Definitely a lot of neighbors basically saying instead of selling their houses or renting, they’re just going to do Airbnb,” Walker said, “because everybody back here have a deck. So who wouldn’t love to be on their deck while Airbnbing watching celebrities golf?”

The rough appearance is said to be temporary.

Tee time for what is expected to be a golfer’s paradise is tentatively set for 2024.

According to the website of the Cobbs Creek Foundation, most of the trees that were deforested were not salvageable.

The place is very unique in history. It was actually a military installment for a time in the 1950s and ’60s during the Cold War. That hurt some of the golf course and started what became a 50-60 year period of neglect.

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The city and partnership with the foundation hope to turn that around with this renovation.