A new indoor practice facility for the intercollegiate golf team is expected to open this spring; the facility is something head golf coach Denny Scott has envisioned for at least three years.
The new golf facility, funded by sponsors and donors of the Bruins’ Foundation, will be located in the basement level of the cabinet shop behind the BJU Press Distribution Center, between the Activity Center and the Campus Cleaners.
The project began mid-January when the BJU facilities department cleared out the old printing presses and classroom chairs that were stored in the basement.
What Scott calls phase one is predicted to begin in March. Phase one includes the major renovations of the building: the installation of AstroTurf, placement of indoor hitting bays, furnishing of the team room and the start-up of a digital launch monitor.
Most of the indoor golf facility will be fitted with one of three types of AstroTurf. The three different types will mimic the different cuts of grass on a real golf course. Two types of turf will mirror two different heights of grass, but the third will mimic the outer fringe of a golf course.
Two large hitting cages will be placed in the facility as well. The cages are designed to allow the golfers to practice their full swings without having to walk far to retrieve the balls. Nets and pads line the inside of the cages to soften the hit of the golf balls and protect the area around the cages.
The team room will be outfitted in such a way that allows the team to hold meetings and review video footage. The room will also serve as a rest area if team members decide to take a break from practicing to rest or work on schoolwork.
The final step of phase one will be the installation of a digital launch monitor called a TrackMan. This portable device will allow the team to track ball measurements such as the spin rotation, acceleration and velocity both in the facility and out on the green.
Phase two will add the installation of a golf simulator to the facility. This simulator will be used in the hitting bays. It will allow players to project a popular golf course onto the back wall of the cage and play as if they are on the course itself.
The facility will make practicing easier for the golf team. Previously, the team spent hours traveling off campus in order to get some swings in or play a game. With the new facility, they will be able to do both without having to travel. The team will also be able to practice whether rain or shine.
Having the golf facility is also a good recruiting tool for the university. It will allow BJU to host golfing summer camps that are able to take place on campus, rather than off campus.
The facility itself will be used mainly by the Bruins golf team. The building will be key card or password protected, but Scott may grant entrance for special events or circumstances. For instance, local high schools might request to practice every now and then, or societies might wish to host an outing there. Similarly, golf team alumni could come back to take a few swings.
The project budget totals approximately $80,000, with phase one costing around $50,000 and phase two costing nearly $30,000. The funds for the project come primarily from generous donors and sponsors. Phase one’s fundraising is almost complete, and the implementation of the phase will begin soon.