The City of Akron has officially turned over the management of Mud Run Golf Course and Driving Range to The First Tee of Greater Akron (TFTGA). Mayor Horrigan announced this change in a press conference at Mud Run on Friday, March 24. In its 2016 report, the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force identified the City’s golf courses as an opportunity to decrease costs. The result was a three-year, renewable management agreement between the City and TFTGA that will cut city costs and allow the organization to increase its programming. PGA Professional Dirk Hartman has been hired to manage golf course operations.
“Today’s announcement is about smart, long-term planning, cost-saving, and effective community- building,” Mayor Horrigan said during the press conference. “As a City, we must recognize our strengths, and accept that we cannot – and should not – attempt to be experts at everything. The First Tee of Greater Akron has demonstrated their skill in managing operations and programs of this kind through years of successful work in the community, and I welcome this opportunity to partner with them further to instill healthy habits and strong values in our youth.”
Over the past three years, TFTGA’s outreach has increased from 150 to over 700 kids. With its primary location at Mud Run, additional programming is held at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Challenge Course and a new satellite location at Brandywine Country Club. TFTGA aims to bring its programming to each community in the Greater Akron area. The organization has plans to build the “First Tee Mini Three,” designed with GPD Group, to increase programming to ages 4-6 at Mud Run. TFTGA also offers programsto kids of all ages with special needs.
“Our vision is for Mud Run to become a true community hub,” Robert Knapp, TFTGA Board President said. “We are thrilled for this opportunity to expand our programming at Mud Run and build on our effective partnership with the City of Akron.”