Reconsider course closure

Published 11:04 am Thursday, March 10, 2016

By Dr. Lee Bidwell

Sadly, the historic Longwood Golf course is being closed. Although the decision seems irrelevant to many, the Longwood Golf Course serves an important role in this community, and if kept open, has huge potential to provide exceptional benefits to the Farmville community.

Having been a part of the Farmville community for 25 years, I have seen the many ways that the golf course benefits the area. 

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The golf course provides an affordable opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to play a sport that has mental, physical and social benefits, and, like our YMCA, brings together people of a variety of ages, backgrounds, and abilities who share a love of a common activity.

The course has provided opportunities to help charitable activities in the community. For many years Joe Cho, owner of Joe’s Seafood and Chicken, has sponsored a golf tournament raising money for local charities, including the Farmville Police Department and the Farmville Volunteer Fire Department. This year, the plan was to raise money for the Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad. 

In defense of the decision to close the golf course, Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV argues that operating the Longwood Golf course “touches on broader public policy considerations” because there are two other courses in Farmville. Since when is competition a bad thing?  Furthermore, The Manor and the municipal golf course offer different experiences and have changed owners multiple times.

Reveley also has justified the decision to close the course on the grounds that Longwood is only one of three universities in the state to have a golf course. It seems to me that Longwood could boast the distinction that it is only one of three universities in Virginia with a golf course.

Dr. Tim Pierson explained that the decision to close the golf course “was not a financial one.” Why, then, is the golf course being closed? 

I implore the president and board of visitors to reconsider the decision to close the golf course. 

Dr. Lee Bidwell is a sociology professor at Longwood University. Her email address is