Golf course not up to par

By By Nick Macey and By Nick Macey

By Nick Macey

Like many U students, I grew up playing golf on the University Golf Course. This course was an important part of my childhood, and holds a special place in my heart. However, the time has come for the course to be permanently closed to make way for university expansion. The space could be better used to improve the parking and physical space problems beginning to appear at the U. The budget used for the course could be better spent on an agreement with Salt Lake City to get U students a discount at the well-maintained, full-size and more accessible city golf courses.

It is no secret that parking on campus is a complete disaster. Students pay $120 per year for a U Permit that, if students are lucky, might get them a parking space within walking distance of their classes. For half the U Permit price, students can purchase an E Permit that provides parking for those willing to shuttle onto the main areas of campus. The U is short of available student parking, especially in the mornings. Even U Permit holders often find themselves in a situation where they cannot find a close parking spot. The ninth hole of the golf course should be used to create a point of transportation. Frequently running shuttles and the creation of more E Permit spaces could help prepare the northeast end of campus for the expansion of buildings in that area that is sure to come. In the meantime, it would help ease the U’s lack of available parking. The expansion of the current lot below the clubhouse may not be an end all solution, but it would most certainly ease many of the current frustrations of staff and students over lack of parking.

The U simply does not have any physical space to reasonably expand. This is a problem because the U will need to build more buildings to accommodate higher enrollment and additional programs. The U cannot build any farther up the mountain to the east. Greek Row and residential housing block development to the north and south. Businesses and housing to the west block any expansion in that direction.

The land currently containing the golf course is simply the only option for physical expansion. In addition, development of this land into academic buildings would help complete the academic landscape by placing the Union literally in the middle of the entire campus.

The U’s golf course is currently not properly funded to be on a par with other golf courses. This results in a harshly maintained and low-quality course. The money currently budgeted to the course should be used as a bartering tool with Salt Lake City to form an agreement benefiting both the city and the U. In exchange for the course budget, the city would allow U students to play the city courses at a discount. Not only are the city’s courses better maintained, there are nine courses spread throughout the area. For students living on campus, Bonneville is a quick drive, walk or bus ride down the street. For students living off campus, there are parks on the southern, eastern and western edges of the city. This agreement would allow students easier access to play a round of golf that would be on a better maintained course near home. Open space in urban areas should be an important priority. I am not suggesting we pave every tree and build on every field. Within the current area of the course, a park should be created to preserve open space.

The park would benefit the entire community, whereas the current course is mainly used by golfers.

This park, academic buildings and a parking lot would be a huge improvement in the utilization of this space.

The U is nearing the end of its options. The expansion and growth of the U should become a priority, as it is critical to the continued success and recognition of the school as one of the best educational institutions in the nation.

The golf course appears to be the only option for growth as we move into the future.

Action should be taken immediately to relieve the current parking problems and prepare the northeast end of campus for expansion. This project should not simply engulf the golf course for the creation of buildings and parking lots, but should also preserve urban open space.

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