Will Klein / Lantern photographer
After three-and-a-half years of fundraising to build an indoor practice facility for Ohio State’s men’s and women’s golf teams, OSU’s Board of Trustees approved the project, allowing construction plans to tee off.
Ben Jay, senior associate athletics director for finance and operations, said it took so long to get this project under way because of the $6.1 million needed to fund it.
“We’re not quite there yet,” Jay said. “We’re at about 83 percent on the golf project now, and they’re continuing to fundraise.”
The facility will be on the OSU golf course on the corner of Kenny and Tremont roads. Plans are aiming for the facility to be completed by winter 2013, Jay said.
Outdoor hitting bays, motion-capture video equipment and short game practice areas are among the amenities planned to be in the facility. The facility will house the entire golf program, Jay said. He said women’s coach Therese Hession’s office is currently in the pro shop of the clubhouse.
“To say that they needed more space was obvious,” Jay said. “This addresses not only the indoor practice area but they’ll have team lockers in there for both men’s and women’s teams, they’ll have coaches’ offices which also helps out the people at the clubhouse and frees up space there for the members because our membership fees are what pays for the golf course.”
Redshirt freshman Logan Jones said that because competitions started in February, the men’s golf team has practiced in the basement of the pro shop or commuted to a driving range in Hilliard.
“Sometimes it can be a burden when we don’t have a lot of time to practice,” Jones said. “I think we do need (an indoor practice facility) in terms of competing and getting recruits, but I think you can still have a good golf team. It shows we’re dedicated.”
The facility will be delivered under the design-build construction method, as opposed to the design-bid-build method, meaning the university will hire one entity to design and build it. Jay said this way is seamless and expects to save money through this method.
Ken Wayman, senior director of design and construction for OSU’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD), said artist renderings have been made in order to complete a study on the location and footprint of the facility, but the actual design might be different. Jay said they will be selecting an architect for the project in April.
“We will tell them what functions the facility will be able to accommodate,” Wayman said. “And they will then come up with the concept of how to lay it out and what the exterior of the building will look like, obviously trying to make it fit in with the architecture that’s already on the golf course.”
Jay said a large part of the planning was getting input from coaches and players on what they needed. Short-game-practice capabilities were one of the bigger needs.
“They can work on their short game, putting, chipping, long chips,” Jay said. “Anyone who knows the game of golf knows short game is about 80 percent of the game, so this facility will allow them to have that kind of practice area.”
Jones said lacking an indoor practice facility hasn’t hurt the team’s game, but he is looking forward to the coming facility.
“One of the greatest golfers ever, Jack Nicklaus, didn’t have one when he was here,” Jones said. “It can be done, but it will definitely a perk next year.”
An earlier version of this story said the new golf facility will be located on the OSU golf course at the corner of Kenney and Tremont roads. The correct spelling is Kenny Road.