A committee investigating options for the future of Dartmouth’s golf course has finished its work and will present its findings next week.
The Golf Course Advisory Committee’s forum is set for May 30 at 6:30 p.m. in Moore Hall’s Filene Auditorium. Members of the College community and the public are welcome to attend. The committee will stream a video of the forum for those not able to attend in person. Details to access the video stream can be found on the committee’s event website.
The committee was formed in February and charged with exploring scenarios for the future of the course—which has been losing members and operating at a loss for the past four years.
The committee’s report, which is available on the committee’s website, will be delivered to Executive Vice President Rick Mills.
The 18-hole golf course is located at the northern end of campus, adjacent to the Pine Park recreation area, and straddling Lyme Road. The College has no plans to sell the golf course property.
“The committee worked exactly as we hoped it would. We convened representatives from the various constituencies with different but overlapping interests in the golf course,” says Charles Wheelan ’88, a Dartmouth senior lecturer and former varsity golfer at the College. “We generated a lot of creative ideas with the potential to make the golf course and Pine Park even more valuable and accessible while minimizing the cost to the College.”
Says Mills, “The College appreciates the time folks have spent studying the golf course. I look forward to reviewing the committee’s findings as we explore the best path forward for the College and for the golf course.”
The committee explored three possible scenarios for the course. One would continue operation of the course with steps identified to reduce costs and limit the financial burden on the College. Another would close the course and advise construction of an indoor golf practice facility.
The middle ground suggests reconfiguring the course to make it more attractive to a wider range of golfers, build a new clubhouse that could also be used as an event space, and broaden offerings at the course, all of which would bring new revenue to the course. Any capital investment in this scenario would not come from College funds.
Committee members believe that, as it is currently configured, the course “cannot be operated profitably, or even at a breakeven basis, in the near future.” The report suggests that the golf course could be managed by one or more outside entities.
Should the College decide to pursue the middle-ground option, the committee suggests the need for a detailed study by a professional golf course designer and an architect and also discussions with potential outside course operators.
Susan Boutwell can be reached at email@example.com