New indoor golf facility will allow year-round practice

Jennifer Mussig

Neither sleet nor snow nor torrential rain will stop the members of the Men and Women’s golf program from practicing once the indoor Golf Teaching and Learning Facility is completed.

“When November through February comes, we are out of business,” said Herb Page, Kent State men’s golf coach. “With this new facility we can practice year-round, and we won’t lose days because of bad weather.”

The building should be completed during the winter of 2006 depending on how soon the university receives bids from contractors, said Tom Euclide, director of architecture and engineering.

So far $1.3 million has been raised through private donations for naming opportunities. After donating a certain amount of money, a room in the facility will be named after the donor, and a small brass plate with the donor’s name will be placed outside the room. The total cost of the project is $1.5 million, but the goal is to raise $1.7 million to cover any extra expenses, Page said.

“A $1,000 gift is as important as a six-figure gift,” Page said.

Features included in the new facility will include a 3,000-square-foot putting green complete with contours and breaks to make it feel just like being outside.

“The synthetic turf will be realistic like the actual green and not like the carpet from the ’70s,” said Kevin Lynch, associate head golf coach.

Also included is a team academic room with Internet capabilities and private study cubicles. The room will be more friendly to different class schedules because students can use the room to study in between practice and classes, Page said.

Other features include indoor heated stalls, which will allow students to hit shots from inside during bad weather. Also included is a Gallery of Champions featuring Kent State golfers located in the entry hallway.

There will be a room set up with high-tech video cameras to analyze golf swings. Similar equipment is used now, but the new room will allow for greater efficiency and the technology will be used more frequently, Lynch said.

Page said the push for facilities like this is being led by the South, but universities in states such as Texas don’t need them because the weather is always nice.

Page, who has led the men’s golf team for the past 28 years, said Kent State competes against many of these schools. In order to remain competitive and attract the best student athletes, this facility is a must, he added.

“It is important to help young men and women athletes realize their potential both athletically and academically, so they can compete at the highest national level,” Page said. “This facility is an asset to make that happen. (It) will be one of the finest indoor/outdoor facilities in the nation.”

Contact buildings and grounds reporter Jennifer Mussig at [email protected]