Town, LU should keep the course open

Published 10:38 am Thursday, March 17, 2016

It appears that a decision on the fate of the Longwood Golf Course has been made and it is a poor one. Let’s look at this issue from several sides and ask, What gives the greatest good to the most stakeholders?

The first stakeholder is Longwood. They have several constituencies: (in order of importance) the general student body, the faculty, the staff, the men’s and women’s golf teams and parents of students.

The second stakeholder is the Town of Farmville. Their constituencies are: the people who live in town, the people who live nearby and visitors from farther away. The third stakeholder is all of the golfers currently playing the three courses.

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The Longwood Golf Course serves Longwood and Hampden-Sydney students and its members, senior men who play regularly several times a week and senior women. Likewise, it serves Prince Edward County High School and the many public and private schools that play tournaments there, many local town golfers and family members of college students, and the college teams that use it for practice.

The Manor serves its members, the college teams and local and out-of-town visitors.

The Farmville Municipal Course (at the airport, six miles from town) serves its members, local area golfers and out-of-town visitors

It has become operationally and financially apparent that there are not enough golfers to support three facilities. At least one has to be sacrificed, if not two.

Combining the play at the town’s municipal course with the play at Longwood would probably make the one remaining course financially viable. If profits were produced, they could be shared between the town and Longwood. Seems like a productive partnership opportunity.

The Manor is a very good golf course. Without the two colleges supporting it, it would probably have to close.

One wonders whether the “need” to have an 18 hole facility for a Division I school justifies the expense to Longwood.

Considering the teams versus all the stakeholders currently using the Longwood course, it would seem that the tail is wagging the dog.

The best solution to the current situation, which gives the greatest good to the most constituents, is for the Town of Farmville to close the municipal course and for Longwood to lease its course to the town.

I urge the the town council and Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV to consider this.

You all have a responsibility to a lot of people and are currently not serving them well with your positions on this.

Dr. Stephen Goldberger attended Cornell and Boston universities, and is an ear, nose and throat specialist who has practiced in Farmville for the past 11 years. His email address is