Alcorn’s plan for golf course is impressive

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2001

Alcorn State University’s plans for a 21-hole golf course facility are ambitious, and impressive.

The school is seeking to build an 18-hole golf course, complimented by a three-hole practice area for young golfers. In addition, the school wants to start a First Tee Program, a PGA-sponsored program aimed to expose more children to the game of golf. Aimed at children who traditionally would not have access to golf courses, the First Tee program has proven a success at two schools already – Kansas State University and the University of North Florida.

If successful at Alcorn, the program could have a real impact on Jefferson and Claiborne counties, two traditionally economically challenged areas that lack public golf courses.

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If Alcorn can find the much-needed funding – up to $ 6 million, part of which could come from grants – the course and First Tee program could be a jewel in the crown of the university. By broadening its offerings and developing a golf course, Alcorn can do more to diversify its course offerings as well, adding such programs as environmental science, turf management and golf course management. For a school with a strong tradition in agricultural sciences, the addition of programs that focus on golf course development makes good sense.

More important, the school can capitalize on the growing popularity of the sport of golf. Personable stars such as Tiger Woods and growing access to courses have made golf one of the fastest growing sports in America.

As Alcorn looks to the future, it makes sense for the university to explore brave ideas for growth and development.