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University outsources golf course

Sterling Golf Management Inc., to manage course

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

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Roger Zhang -- THE BATTALION

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University outsources golf course

Sterling Golf Management Inc., to manage course

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Texas A&M University will outsource the management of the University golf course to Sterling Golf Management Inc., and begin renovation of the course when a contract is signed in the coming weeks.

Jason Cook, vice president for marketing and communications at Texas A&M, said students can expect to see significant changes to the course. All 18 holes will be renovated and three new holes will be added for agronomy-related research. New hazards will be added to the course — both water and bunkers. The course will also feature a renovated and expanded driving range, Cook said.

“The Texas A&M Golf Course sits on an important gateway to the University,” Cook said. “We want to ensure that the course is reflective of our world-class University, while also providing a quality recreational experience for our students, faculty, staff and guests.”

Landscapes Unlimited, an award-winning golf construction and development company, will handle the physical reconstruction and renovation of the golf course, according to Dennis Corrington, director of recreational sports at Texas A&M.

Renovation of the course will begin when a contract is signed, which Corrington said could be in the next two weeks.

“It’s going to be the premiere on-campus golf course in the entire nation,” said senior finance major and student body president John Claybrook.


Claybrook said the University will make a $1.75 million investment in the course, which should be recovered almost immediately through investments from other companies.


“Essentially, the University is getting an amazing golf course at very little cost to the school,” Claybrook said.


It is anticipated Texas A&M will avoid $300,000 in annual expenditures through this management agreement, Cook said. Sterling Golf is pledging to invest significantly in the course’s infrastructure, which will result in additional cost avoidance for Texas A&M.


Cook said one of the goals of the project is to keep greens fees low and affordable for students.


Other details, such as employment staffing levels and percentage of profits Texas A&M will receive, remain under discussion and will be determined when a contract is signed.


“I think, long-term, this is going to be a good thing,” said Mark Haven, associate director of golf and outdoor activities.


Claybrook said the goal of the renovation project is to tell the story of Texas A&M through the golf course. The driving range and each hole is expected to be named after prominent figures of Texas A&M, with the goal of telling the history of Texas A&M as the game is played.


“I think that it is going to be not only an amazing golf course, but it’s going to be an amazing piece of landscaping,” Claybrook said. “I think it’s very unique for a university to have a golf course on the campus, and I think it’s just another thing that makes A&M so special.”


Construction is expected to begin September of this year, with the target date for completion and re-opening on Sept. 1, 2013.

 

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