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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • College considers reinstating golf

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  • After an absence of several years, the renewal of a golf program at Pratt Community College is under review.
    Number crunchers in the administration will be busy over the next month looking at costs and revenues of reinstating golf and will report to trustees at their next monthly meeting in December.
    Kurt McAfee, PCC athletic director, said the state-funding model was different the last time the college considered bringing golf back.
    Some of the issues in the past included difficulty in retaining a golf coach, high green fees at the country club and it was hard to recruit women for the team.
    As far as a coach goes, the lifeblood of a sports program is recruiting. Since the coach does the recruiting and it was hard to retain one, coaching issues became a main reason the program was dropped the last time.
    But some things have changed. Trustee Darrell Shumway said that the country club now had more manageable green fees and that it would be a good idea for the administration to revisit a PCC golf program.
    Shumway said he thought it was a viable idea. Pratt High has a good golf team and it would be a base for recruitment.
    Financially, the addition of a golf program would mean additional income per student of $3,900 McAfee said. Students on scholarship would bring in $1,400.
    If a golf program would add 25 students, the net income to the college would be $35,000 from additional student fees, residence hall fees and food plans.
    An issue with bringing that many additional students on campus would be housing. Currently, the residence halls are maintaining a 90 percent occupancy rate so finding places for a full men's and women's golf team would be an issue, McAfee said.
    The conference has 10 teams with strong teams at Hutchinson Community College, Dodge City Community College and Johnson County Community College so it would keep a PCC team busy throughout the year.
    "If we're going to forward we need to get busy," McAfee said.
    Trustee Michele Hamm said it was hard to recruit enough to make a team, it was hard to keep a coach and the money to start the program could be used to enhance existing programs, like track.
    Agriculture instructors Bill Hunter and Lori Montgomery had positive reports on their trip to the national FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky. Some 63,000 students and parents attended the convention.
    Their goal was recruiting and getting PCC out there in front of the world. Hunter said they received 120 interest cards, with 53 percent being high school juniors and seniors from 47 states.
    Trustee Dwane DeWeese also attended and helped make many good contacts.
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