By: Amanda Hall, Guest Writer
The term “use it or lose it” is appropriate when regarding how our student funds are used. So when students and faculty aren’t using the golf course, why keep it? According to the Denton Record Chronicle, less than three percent of TWU students use the golf course. Unlike the tennis court, where entrance is free for faculty and students with rackets and balls that can be checked out at Fitness and Recreation for free, the TWU golf course can be pricey for a college student to use. To golf on the course is free for TWU students with a student ID, but golf clubs cost $12.25 to rent and a pull cart costs $4. TWU faulty are not allowed the same free entrance as students. For TWU faulty, the weekend rate to golf 18 holes is $15.25. No wonder students and faculty aren’t using the golf course!
Neither Fit and Rec nor the Kinesiology department use the golf course for intramurals or instructional use. Why isn’t the Fit and Rec utilizing the golf course? Maybe there isn’t enough interest in the student population. TWU doesn’t have a golf team, and even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to use it for practices or tournaments because it is 1,000 yards shorter than a competitive course.
Finally, there is the issue of water use. According to the National Weather Service, Denton is still in a moderate drought. Then why does the golf course use 20 million gallons of water annually to irrigate a course that continuously stays a dirty brown color? Instead of using recycled sewage water, which has been found safe for golf courses and irrigating crop fields, TWU has been using potable water. In a drought and with less than three percent of students playing golf on the course, TWU is paying $96,000 to irrigate the golf course.
The golf course could be turned into a playing field for soccer, football, or disc golf so that students wouldn’t have to cross University Drive to walk to the off campus intramural field. Part of the golf course could be used to help alleviate the parking problem for commuters by adding more parking spaces to the parking lot behind Pioneer Hall. This would be especially important once the new parking garage is under construction since the construction site is expected to occupy a parking lot that is currently be used. After hearing these facts and alternative uses for the golf course, I’m sure if it was up to a student vote, the students of TWU would vote to eliminate the TWU golf course to make way for something better. Let’s hear it from the students and let them decide the fate of the golf course.