Public play at the new championship 18-hole course began in early October, and tee times have been filling quickly because golf and Eagles just go well together.
“This golf course is challenging yet friendly,” said Director of Golf Marten Olsson. “These 18 holes will give opportunities to the golfer who’s just starting to play as well as the experienced golfer who wants a challenge.”
Money collected from student fees paid for the transformation of the 167 acres located about six miles from campus. “This is an opportunity for us to provide an experience to our students and community members and expose them to the game of golf,” said Gene Sherry, executive director of Campus Recreation and Intramurals (CRI). “This facility is a great addition to meet the needs of our active and growing student body as we promote healthy lifestyle habits.”
Three years ago, the University spent $650,000 to purchase Southern Links, which had been closed for several years. With $5 million spent on renovations and a new layout designed by Robert Walker, Georgia Southern students, faculty, staff and community members have another option to exercise and relax.
“This is what a student-centered University is all about,” said Teresa Thompson, Ph.D., vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “What we were buying was the opportunity to expand our recreational and student activity opportunities. We have very bright students who have high expectations inside and outside the classroom.” Thompson also pointed out the golf course could help keep students enrolled. “We have found in studies that students who are involved in recreational activities are retained and graduate at a higher rate.”
The golf course is another attractive addition to a long list of outstanding recreational facilities already available to students. “This represents a number of things that speak loudly and boldly about what Georgia Southern is and where we are going,” said University President Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D. “We are a University on the move and are always looking for ways to better serve our students and community. This is one more way in which we can tell the world that we are different, and we are special.”
The course has five sets of tees and measures 6,900 yards from the back tees and 5,300 yards from the front tees. Water is in play on 11 of the 18 holes, and the course has 53 bunkers in the fairways and around the greens. “This is a very pretty and fun golf course to play with a lot of variety,” said Patrick Reinhardt, golf course superintendent. “The students were the driving force behind this, and they are so excited about having a golf course available as a recreational activity.”
The facility also has a driving range, practice putting and chipping greens, along with a renovated 8,000 square foot clubhouse, which includes a pro shop, snack bar and meeting space. Find out about greens fees, schedule tee times and learn more about the course by visiting GeorgiaSouthern.edu/golf. – Casey Jones
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