More colleges cutting varsity golf due to budgets

Written By: Travis Richardson | @travis_richson

As many people saw, the University of Tulsa announced last week that they are eliminating the men's varsity golf program following the 2015-16 season. It is the fifth school to cut varsity golf in the first three months of 2016 alone, all seemingly because of budget concerns. According to the Tulsa World the school had to eliminate $500,000 from its athletics budget for the upcoming year, and cutting the golf program is expected to save $520,000 per year.

The same situation occurred in February at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Faced with needing to reduce the budget by $200,000, the school cut men's golf and women's tennis effective after this season.

The story is the same at East Central University, UNC-Pembroke, John Brown University, Owens Community College, and others in the last year.

"This is one of the most difficult decisions that we have ever made as a department, because it impacts the lives of current student-athletes,” said Brad Hewitt, SIUE director of athletics in a press release. “However, it became readily apparent that with the declining state appropriation and the University’s defined approach to managing that budget issue, we would not be able to continue to fund and support 18 sport programs at a level that is consistent with this department’s culture."

The NCCGA has become a place for some of these schools to continue its golf program in a more budget-conscious manner. A standard club golf team budget is under $5,000 for an entire year of participation (including team dues and four regional tournaments for 8 students).

pittsburg state club golf team

Members of the Pittsburg State golf team participate in the most recent NCCGA tournament in Kansas.

Providence College was under a similar situation in 1998. The school cut the varsity golf program, as well as baseball and tennis, to become Title IX compliant. Golf returned in 2012 as a NCCGA club team, coached by former team member John Conley, and now fields an A and B team in the NCCGA New England Region.

The school is able to support a club golf team at Providence at a fraction of the cost it would take to fund a varsity team. It also allows golfers on campus an avenue to play competitively with other schools across the country.

Pittsburg State University's former varsity golf team, composed of six seniors, will also be competing in NCCGA tournaments this spring after their program was cut recently by the school. In total, Providence, Portland, American, Point Loma, Duquesne, Truman State, and Quinnipiac all have club golf teams involved in the NCCGA the past year.

No one likes to see a golf program get cut, it affects the entire roster of student-athletes and either forces them to transfer, or give up competitive golf altogether. We're proud here at the NCCGA that we've been able to help a few of these schools, and students, stay involved in golf in college.

Golf Programs Eliminated Since 1995

  • East Central University (Men's & Women's Golf, 2016)
  • Owens Community College (Men's Golf, 2016)
  • Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (Women's Golf, 2016)
  • University of Tulsa (Men's Golf, 2016)
  • John Brown University (Men's Golf, 2016)
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Men's & Women's Golf, 2015)
  • Pittsburg State University (Men's Golf, 2015)
  • Friends University (Men's Golf, 2015)
  • UNC-Pembroke (Men's Golf, 2015)
  • Furman (Men's Golf, 2014, later reinstated)
  • Florida A&M University (Men's Golf, 2013, later reinstated)
  • Robert Morris University (Women's Golf, 2013
  • Winstom Salem State University (Men's Golf, 2012)
  • Truman State University (Men's Golf, 2011)
  • Point Loma Nazarene University (Men's Golf, 2010)
  • University of Portland (Men's & Women's Golf, 2010)
  • Duquesne University (Men's Golf, 2010)
  • Quinnipiac University (Men's Golf, 2009)
  • American University (Men's Golf, 2005)
  • South Carolina State University (Men's Golf, 2003)
  • Portland State University (Men's Golf, 2002)
  • Miami University of Ohio (Men's Golf, 1999, later reinstated)
  • Providence College (Men's Golf, 1998)
  • East Stroudsburg University (Men's Golf, 1990)
  • Kutztown University (Men's Golf, 1990)

Want to know how Nextgengolf and the NCCGA can help non-varsity and former varsity students play golf in college? Visit the NCCGA's homepage to learn more, or send a note anytime to