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Published July 05, 2018
Investments in improvements to the University of Wyoming’s Glenn “Red” Jacoby Golf Course are paying dividends, as the course is attracting more high-level competitions.
For the first time ever, Jacoby Golf Course will be the site of a U.S. Golf Association qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Championship, attracting 32 top-level amateurs from around the country Tuesday, July 10. The winner qualifies for the U.S. Amateur Aug. 13-19 at Pebble Beach, Calif.
The U.S. Amateur qualifier will follow this weekend’s third annual Laramie Open, which has attracted more than 50 professional golfers and almost 50 high-level amateurs, with a $10,000 prize for the winning pro.
“It will be a real run of high-level golf,” says Joe Jensen, Jacoby’s director of golf operations and the head coach of UW’s men’s golf team. “This is a nice endorsement of the improvements we have made for the course to become a quality competition site.”
Jensen says he has been working for several years to attract a U.S. Amateur qualifier to Jacoby, and he’s “just thrilled” that the effort has succeeded.
“This puts our golf course on the map as a national qualifier,” he says. “To play in the U.S. Amateur is a big, big deal in any amateur’s career, so it’s pretty neat to get this.”
A new irrigation system and other improvements to the course in recent years have created conditions that make it possible to host such tournaments, says Jensen, who notes the course is in great shape this summer.
“The new irrigation system was a game-changer,” he says. “I’m really proud of where we are right now, because the improved turf conditions are such a good thing for everyone who uses the facility.”
The higher-level competitions are a nice addition to the array of offerings at Jacoby, which include a strong “first tee” program for beginning youth golfers as well as local membership programs, Jensen says.
“Now that we’re hosting more state events, national events and professional events, more people are coming to town, which benefits the local economy,” Jensen says. “But our local membership is important, too, and we appreciate their support and that of the community, which allows us to have events like this.
“Because we are part of the university, which is a teaching institution, we are all about teaching the game as well,” Jensen adds. “Serving all of these constituents means we stay busy, and I love that feel. There’s always something going on.”