By: Sierra Taylor, Managing Editor
According to a recent feasibility study by WindRose Global, the Pioneer Golf Course on TWU’s Denton campus is losing more funds than it is gaining. Recently, Chancellor and President Dr. Carnie Feyten and a committee composed of TWU faculty, staff, students and Denton residents met to discuss the practicality of keeping the golf course.
Assistant Director of Fitness and Recreation Karrie Fletcher shared: “The university hired a consultant who worked with the committee and the golf course staff to analyze all aspects of the course including previous budgets, course usage, staffing, current golf trends and usage by the university community.” Fletcher was one of the committee members.
Feyten addressed the issue of the golf course during the Fall Assembly on Friday, August 14. She stated: “In terms of operations every year, our cost is larger, and that probably isn’t going to get any better.”
She added: “The irrigation system is getting older, and at some point, we would have to be replacing that. The golf carts aren’t really working that well anymore, and some of the bridges need to be fixed.”
According to Denton Guyer High School Golf Coach Roddy Adams, who sat on the committee as well, everything was examined in a proper and professional manner, but either the course will be upgraded and the revamped facility will begin to turn a profit, or the course will be closed.
Fletcher shared: “No decision has been made at this time. Dr. Feyten wants to take the fall semester to consider all of the options before making a decision. She has indicated that she would like to meet with the committee again in December to discuss those options.”
According to the study, TWU uses 20 million gallons of water annually to irrigate the course, which costs around $96,000.
Feyten said: “We use potable water, which means drinking water, to irrigate the golf course. That is something we are looking into with the city about how we can change that.”
The design of the 18 holes is about 1,000 yards shorter than competitive courses, which means that even if TWU had a golf team, then they would not be able to practice or host tournaments there.
Feyten stated: “As the golf course gets older, it needs more and more funding to sustain it. The trends nationally in playing golf are dropping significantly, especially among women and junior players. Only three percent of golf games are played by employees and students.”
The golf feasibility study has not halted golf games, but Fitness and Recreation has discontinued the new intramural game, Foot Golf, while the feasibility study continues. Other intramural sports like flag football and the soccer leagues have a sign-up deadline of September 8, with play beginning as early as September 14.
Recreational Supervisor Gabriel Cruz shared: “[Intramural sports] is a great opportunity for students to meet others or build on existing relationships through a competitive atmosphere.”
At press time, Dr. Mendez-Grant was slated to present the WindRose Global’s feasibility study findings to the Denton City Council in a Tuesday afternoon meeting. Stay connected with The Lasso for further developments.