Golf course message
For much of the past academic year, a committee of faculty and staff along with a few local community members has undertaken a feasibility study for TWU’s Pioneer Golf Course. The committee was charged with compiling data about the revenues and costs, proposing changes that could make the course a fiscal asset, and articulating ways the golf course serves or distracts from the mission of TWU now and down the road.
I met with the committee this week, and I’m pleased to report the members provided me with a very thorough report and a number of creative suggestions for improving the course’s viability. The committee also contracted with a national golfing consultant, who noted considerable cost challenges that affect our course’s short- and long-term fiscal profile.
I applaud both the diligence and creativity of this committee, which was co-chaired by Heather Speed in Student Life, and Alex Thomas in Facilities Management. I extend special thanks also to their committee colleagues, Kim Miloch and Michael Stankey in Academic Affairs, Karen Garcia in Marketing and Communication, Joel Muro from Family Sciences and representing the Faculty Senate, Matthew Hood, SGA representative, Robin Bayer in Finance and Administration, Ryan Mayer in University Advancement, Karrie Fletcher and Tom Roese in Fitness and Recreation, Mike Conley representing the Denton community, Roddy Adams with Denton’s Guyer High School and coach of its golf teams, and Bryan Lockley and Howard Martin with the City of Denton.
After listening to them and looking at the reports, it is apparent that there are a number of financial and demographic challenges we need to carefully consider in the coming months. These challenges include the imminent risk of a failure of the aging sprinkler system, high annual water costs, bridges needing immediate repair, aging course maintenance tools, malfunctioning golf carts, and other rising expenses. The course also has been operating at a loss for some time (about $150K per year). Also, during the past five years, fewer than 3 percent of the rounds at the TWU golf course were played by students, faculty, or staff—all combined.
These are the issues that must be weighed against potential academic, programmatic, and community benefits. During the next few months, we will be exploring all possible alternatives, including partnerships, that might impact the financial situation of the golf course. In addition, we will be engaging in an analysis of all university assets to develop a master plan that will meet the needs of our students and programs for the future. In making a decision about any major asset of the university, it is imperative that we always consider the mission of TWU and its overall responsibility to the students we serve.
As always, I welcome your thoughts, especially since we are considering a part of our university that has such a longstanding and meaningful tradition.
Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Texas Woman’s University
"If you talk to a man in a language that he understands, that goes to his head. But if you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." (Nelson Mandela)