College Golf Facilities
4 min read
Golf, long popular among the elite, has since grown massively among the millennial population, who are now attending college. With this growth comes demand, meaning universities up and down the country have been working to develop and update their facilities, in order to attract the new golfing generation. Stanford, a world-renowned Ivy League college in its own right, is quickly establishing a reputation as having the best college golf facilities in the nation. From its 175-acre Stanford University Golf Course, to its world class Siebel Varsity Training Centre, its no wonder the school produces alumni that between them have won 10 US Opens, 8 British Opens and 6 Masters titles. The Stanford Golf Course includes beautiful scenery, and is consistently rated one of the finest in the world – providing students and staff with a way to relax in the California sunshine. Stanford also holds an annual Golf Camp, where children aged 5 to 17 are offered daily tuition on Stanford’s amazing facilities, in order to enhance and develop their level of golf. The University of Virginia’s Birdwood Golf Course is one of the most scenic courses in the US. The massive 500 acres of green is located just a mile from campus, and provides both the women’s and men’s golf teams with a home course. The lush course often attracts Virginian wildlife, and so a member of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program is always on hand to ensure chemical use does not harm the animals. Every aspect of the green is so scenic, it’s easy to forget the challenges this course poses to even the most skilled college golfer, with its slick greens and elevation changes. However, its not just the warmer states that attract college golfers. Surprisingly, schools in usually colder climates have been successful in recruiting potential golfers, despite not being able to offer as much outside playing time as other, more Southern teams. For example, Purdue University, in Lafayette, Indiana, managed to sign a prospect, rated at number 22 on the high school class of 2014, regardless of the temperature sitting in the low 20 degrees Celsius, even in the middle of summer. This could be chalked up to their Kampen Course, which is regularly voted among the best college courses in the country. Their state of the art Tom Spurgeon Golf Training Centre also appeals to potential students. The 11,400 square foot centre includes an indoor putting green and multiple heated hitting bays, ensuring that golfers’ training will not be hindered because of the weather. Illinois, a state infamous for its bad weather, could be perceived by college golfers as a no-go. However, Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, managed to sign Matt Fitzpatrick in 2013, while he was the reigning US amateur champion. Matt, originally from Sheffield, is now a British Masters winner, and was thrilled to attend the same college as fellow golf star, Luke Donald, who was a personal hero of his. David Lipsky, an Asian Tour member, and a NW graduate, says that his time at the school has forced him to consider his practice time more carefully, as they were forced to take advantage of the good weather, when they got it. Although Evanston hosts a variety of different courses available to NW, the team often plays on the Convey Farms Golf Course, which was named by Golf Digest as one of the best in the country. The Convey Farms club counts Northwestern alum Luke Donald as among its members, and has played host to tournaments such as the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Big Ten Championships.