Philo resident renews plea for golf team at Unity High

Philo resident renews plea for golf team at Unity High

TOLONO — For the second year in a row, a community member has proposed starting a golf team at Unity High School.

Philo resident Doug Boyer, who has taught the sport for the past five years at the University of Illinois, first made the proposals to the Unit 7 school last March. This week, he made the request again.

Boyer said that since he first proposed the golf program, he has been approached between 50 and 75 times by potential players and their parents and by community members supportive of the idea.

"It's a lifelong sport," Boyer said.

The Legends Golf Club in Champaign has offered the use of its facility as a practice location at a cost of $100 per player, which would include a pass that would be valid until Dec. 31. Legends is a nine-hole course.

"It really promotes the short game," Boyer said. "It is a perfect venue for a high school golf team."

Boyer said most of the players already have their own equipment. "They could have matching golf polos and bags, but that's not really vital," he said.

The high school golf season lasts about two months. The IHSA requires that teams play in at least six and up to 18 regular-season matches, which can be tournaments or dual matches. There would be a greens fee for regional and sectional tournaments and for the state series.

Boyer estimated travel expenses would be just over $600. Other potential expenses would include a salary for a head coach.

Boyer said a local businessperson has pledged to match funds up to $5,000 to get the program started. He said about $1,000 has already been raised for the proposed golf program.

The sport could be co-ed, and girls would be allowed to play on the boys' team during the regular season and compete in the girls' post-season tournaments.