The City of Wichita is engaged in preliminary discussions with First Tee Greater Wichita on a community-based initiative to assume day-to-day operations, maintenance and fiscal management services for Golf Wichita. The goal of these discussions and potential collaboration is to provide a sustainable, high-quality municipal golf system for the long-term recreational benefit of the residents of Wichita while removing associated financial responsibility and risk from the city.
First Tee Greater Wichita is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and part of an international network of 150 First Tee chapters supported by a national office governed by the PGA Tour. Currently 37 First Tee local chapters own and/or manage public and private golf facilities across the U.S.
Initial discussions propose the City retain ownership of the golf properties and lease the four Wichita municipal golf courses to First Tee. First Tee would develop a plan to generate sufficient funds to improve the current courses and provide an affordable, high-quality experience for the citizens of Wichita. The plan will also include strategies to endow the operations in order to expand youth golf participation. There are currently 21 City employees at the four courses who would be interviewed for re-hire by First Tee Greater Wichita.
The Wichita City Council and the appointed City Park Board would retain oversight of the business relationship with First Tee and establish critical measurements for success and accountability. The City of Wichita will provide further updates on this exciting vision for Golf Wichita as discussions progress.