Sam Houston State University’s Raven Nest Golf Club is becoming better known near and far, and its rounds played and revenue figures are showing it.
The course was recently ranked 6th in Texas by the Dallas Morning News for courses with fees of $44 and under. A number of new programs have also increased interest among area golfers, according to Nate Nye, PGA head professional.
Nye said that rounds played are up 68 percent from a year ago, prior to SHSU’s taking over management of the course, and revenue is up 50 percent. He attributes the increases to several factors.
Nye believes that the electronic messaging sign sponsored by First National Bank is bringing the course’s value to the attention of Interstate 45 travelers. New programs such as the Men and Women’s Golf Associations, junior programs and yearly membership plans are becoming more popular with area and local players.
In addition, more university students are playing. Nye said that 25 percent of all rounds played are by SHSU students.
“The pro shop is fully stocked, and we’re open rain or shine, even when the course is closed,” said Nye. “That’s also the case with the new food, drink and snack operation.”
Jason Burnett, a Huntsville High School product who has expanded his catering business, operates The Grille at Raven Nest, which is becoming known for its breakfast burritos and cheeseburgers, said Nye.
“We’ve got new patio furniture, and a lot of folks are stopping by to eat even if they’re not playing,” said Nye.
Rates including green fee and cart are $36 on weekends and $26 weekdays. City, county and TDCJ employees can play for $30 and $24 and SHSU faculty, staff and alumni for $25 and $20. Students can play for $20 and $17, and seniors (60 and older) for $5 less than the full rates.