Las Vegas, NM — New Mexico Highlands University hired a golf pro and will open the redesigned Gene Torres golf course to the public Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7 a.m.The redesigned golf course also features a remodeled clubhouse. “This golf course is a self-sustaining business operation using no university funds or taxpayer dollars,” said Bill Taylor, vice president for finance and administration at Highlands. “All the operational costs will be financed through golf course revenues, including green fees, golf course rentals, and range fees. We surveyed golf courses throughout the state to determine an appropriate fee structure.” Weekend Fees: general public – $35 for 9 holes, $49 for 18 holes; 17 and under and full-time Highland’s students – $18 for 9 holes, $26 for 18 holes; Highland’s faculty and staff – $30 for 9 holes, $39 for 18 holes.Weekday Fees: general public – $35 for 9 holes, $49 for 18 holes; 17 and under and full-time Highland’s students – $15 for 9 holes, $23 for 18 holes; Highland’s faculty and staff – $25 for 9 holes, $33 for 18 holes.Twilight Fees: reduced for all groups on both weekends and weekdaysCarts: $8 for 9 holes; $14 for 18 holes; $11 at twilight (same price for all golfers)Range: $6 for half bucket with 45 balls; $10 for full bucket with 90 ball (same price for all golfers).Membership: $1,100 per calendar year for general public with 20 percent discount for university faculty and staff .The university’s new golf pro, Steve Watson, brings 30 years of professional golf management and instruction to his new position. Before coming to Highlands, Watson was the director of instruction at the Robert Trent Jones Academy of Golf in Birmingham, Ala. During his career, he was also a golf course director in Florida, worked in golf program management, and played professional golf. He is a Class A member of the PGA of America.”I think this Highland’s course will be enjoyable for golfers of all ages and abilities, and we want it to be very welcoming for the community,” Watson said. “The architect designed it to be an 18-hole experience on a 9-hole course. It has multiple sets of tees so the second nine holes have different characteristics, including yardages.”Watson said he tailors his golf instruction to the player. “I identify each person’s learning style, whether it’s primarily audio, tactile, kinesthetic or visual,” Watson said. “Each person has his or her own individual golfing DNA. Once I identify that, I can help them achieve their golf goals. I also focus on teaching the fundamentals of the golf swing, including grip, stance and posture.”Watson earned his bachelor’s degree from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, where he played college baseball and basketball. He started playing golf at 18, when his college roommate introduced Watson to his father, who was a golf pro. Watson said he was drawn to Las Vegas because of a lifelong desire to work for a university, and he wanted to live in the Southwest in a small-town setting. His wife, Carole, is also a golfer. Their daughter, Jill, graduated from Florida State University last year. Their son, Ryan, is a college student with aspirations to someday play the PGA circuit.