By Joseph Marcades
As the weather warms up and the grass turns green, the Rawls Golf Course at Texas Tech University is preparing for another busy spring season.
With an estimated 35,000 rounds of golf played on the Rawls every year, the staff is always working to maintain a tournament-level course, ranked by Golfweek as the second best public golf course in Texas and the third best collegiate course in the country.
Jay Thomas, a Professional Golfers’ Association associate at the Rawls, said golf offers the opportunity to cultivate a healthy and fun lifestyle, and the quality of the experience at Rawls is “high-end.”
Although used mainly by Tech’s golf teams, the course also sees a steady daily stream of students. Discounted student memberships cost $495 a semester, and students also receive discounted green fees during the week and primetime on the weekends.
“And $495 for the quality that they see out here is extremely cheap,” Thomas said. “They’re not going to find that anywhere else.”
For local golfers, Lubbock also has another option, which does not require the time or money the Rawls does.
The Range, according to its website, is a lighted golf range that features 60 swing bays for the driving range, along with live music, washer pits, corn hole, Crusty’s Pizza and a full bar. While it does not offer a full golf experience, there is plenty of practice and fun to be had.
“It has turned into a hangout spot,” said William Jarvis, the general manager of The Range. “People who don’t golf come out here, and people who try to golf come out here.”
The Range has recently added a new ball and beer counter because of the increased the traffic in the main house. Jarvis said this is a one-of-a-kind experience around Lubbock.
“There’s really nothing out here like this in Lubbock,” Jarvis said. “It caters to all ages, and it is kind of its own deal, laid-back and relaxed.”
Craig Grossman, a Lubbock native and a golf enthusiast, said he has been a longtime patron of The Rawls as well as The Range.
“The Range is awesome,” Grossman said. “I like that it has beer, and it is really easy for people to just go hang out there.”
The Range can get really busy, so a little expansion would be appreciated, Grossman said. Although he loves it, he said, the Rawls is the best option if one is looking for a full round.
With spring’s return, Lubbockites and Tech students will likely have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the game of golf in the next few months.
“It means a lot to the company that runs the course for the university that we really do service our students,” Thomas said. “We enjoy having students out here.”