(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) Nov. 3, 1011 — The University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course is likely to drop the word “championship” from its name after a focus group suggested the name implies that the golf course is “too hard” or it is an “elitist” golf course.
That was one likely outcome of an afternoon-long round-robin brainstorming session held at the golf course last week. Participants included about two dozen invited friends of the golf course, alumni and others who were asked to give their thoughts about the course, its branding, the quality of its customer service, pricing structure and overall position in the Albuquerque golf market.
UNM has been under pressure to increase revenues to minimize or eliminate the need for university subsidies. Despite threats to sell or close the course, earlier this year, the UNM Board of Regents agreed to stay the course for the time being, but pressure to turn around the course’s poor financial picture is likely to continue into next year.
It’s possible the golf course could revert to its old name, “The UNM South Course,” which differentiates it from the 9-hole “North Course” located on the UNM campus.
There was word at the focus group, dubbed a “golf summit” by UNM administrators who organized it, that the food and beverage service vendor at the UNM Student Union may be asked to relinquish F &B duties at the golf course, allowing officials to put out a request for proposals for a new operator at the golf course’s grill.
UNM South changed its name to the Championship Course in the early 2000s after hosting an NCAA championship and a Nike Tour Championship. Despite the change, locals largely have continued to refer to the course by its old name.
— Dan Vukelich