The North Texas golf programs are on the verge of having a place to call home for the first time in years.
The UNT Board of Regents on Thursday approved the school’s plan to enter into an agreement with Trophy Club Country Club to build a practice facility on the club’s property.
The construction of the new venue is the key aspect of an agreement that will make Trophy Club the home for both the UNT men’s and women’s teams.
UNT will pay a $1.1 million licensing fee as part of the deal. The club, with UNT’s approval, will design, construct and maintain the facility that will include putting greens and areas where players can work on other aspects of their short games.
UNT’s golfers also will have playing privileges at the club as part of the 25-year agreement.
UNT has raised nearly $400,000 for the project.
The proposal UNT’s regents approved includes a clause that the contract cannot be executed until the necessary funds are secured by the university.
“It will help in all facets of the game,” UNT men’s head coach Brad Stracke said. “It will help in recruiting and in preparing our players. If you look at it, there are 80 programs that have their own facility. We will be able to elevate the program to another level because we have our own place.”
UNT’s program was based at the Eagle Point course on the school’s campus until the 1990s. The Eagle Point course was later shut down, clearing the way for the Mean Green Athletic Center and Apogee Stadium to be built on the land the course once occupied.
UNT has used courses around the area since the Eagle Point course was shut down, including Trophy Club.
“We need to have a place where our people can consistently go and practice,” UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal said.
The club will add a sign labeling Trophy Club as UNT’s home course.
“It’s great publicity for us, especially for a club that has more than 1,100 members,” Villarreal said.
Villarreal said the contract includes a provision that would allow for the addition of an indoor facility at a later date. He estimated the cost of an indoor facility at $250,000.
UNT’s men’s golf team won four straight national titles beginning in 1949 and has enjoyed a resurgence under Stracke, who has led the Mean Green to consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles and the NCAA regionals in each of the last three seasons.
Rodolfo Cazaubon was named to the All-Sun Belt team in each of his four seasons at UNT and qualified as an individual for the final rounds of the national tournament later this month.
“It will help us for sure,” Cazaubon said of the addition of a new facility. “Whenever you see a good golf facility, it makes you want to practice even more.”
Staff writer Jenna Duncan contributed to this report.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter at @brettvito.