Changing uses of the LU golf course

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Longwood Golf Course is rich with history. Built as a New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps project, it was the community’s first golf course, and served as home to the national championship Longwood teams of Hall of Fame coach Dr. Barbara Smith.

Indeed, the course helped make Farmville a golfing town, and today there are two additional courses nearby — the municipal course and The Manor.

During our master planning process over the past year, Longwood has been considering our golf course’s future. There have been strong and sincere recommendations that it should continue on as a public course, and we have listened carefully.

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Now as we move into the final months of this academic year, it is a beneficial time to determine the prudent use of the course, and to ensure that golf thrives in Farmville as a whole. Today we are announcing the course will cease operations as a public 9-hole golf course on June 30.

With the availability of other courses nearby, public use of the Longwood course has declined over the past decade in particular. Membership now stands at under 100, including about a dozen Longwood students.

The decision is not a financial one. Golf is a great lifelong sport, and we want to support it and encourage students to play. A recent arrangement with The Manor allows our students, faculty and staff to play there for the same price. That arrangement also provides a strong home for our intercollegiate golf program — for competition and upholding our fine golfing tradition.

So what will become of the Longwood course? Our handful of full-time employees there will continue work at the university, so nobody will lose their job. A meaningful portion of the course will remain open as practice grounds for our golf teams, and university classes and lessons will continue there too. It will also be a useful and ready home for the Longwood cross country program.

Golfing is strong in Farmville, but we understand this decision is disappointing for those in the community who have played the Longwood course often and regularly over the decades. Golfers have great local options now, unlike for most of the history of the Longwood course.

Golf will continue to thrive in Farmville. The Longwood course has seen so much history since its creation last century.

Dr. Tim J. Pierson is the vice president for student affairs at Longwood University. His email address is