Nov. 12, 2003
On Sat., Nov. 15, UCLA will dedicate its new on-campus golf practice facility, located at the north end of the intramural field in between Drake Stadium and the John Wooden Center.
The new facilities include a 3,000-square foot tee box to accommodate 10 golfers, a 3, 000-square foot green with a practice bunker, a surrounding area for short game practice and a brick building to house instructional materials, lockers and equipment.
Primarily meant for use by UCLA's intercollegiate golf teams, the facility also will be available for members of the UCLA Golf Club.
The idea was hatched in the fall of 2002 between UCLA coaches and administrators. They felt that the men's and women's teams needed an on-campus practice facility in order to put UCLA ahead of its competition. Following a lead donation from UCLA alumnus Jack Gifford, the facilities were designed and built as the surrounding 10-acre intramural field began to take shape. The green will be maintained on a regular basis by the staff at the Bel Air Country Club. "Learn to Golf' classes will be offered quarterly to interested students through the UCLA Recreation Department.
"During the construction of the new (subterranean) Lot 7 parking garage, we were fortunate to discover that the area in which the practice facility now occupies was not scheduled for recreational programming," said head men's golf coach O.D. Vincent. "Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Gifford, the UCLA golf program and the UCLA Golf Club now have an outstanding on-campus practice facility."
From the tee box with the gates open, players will hit practice shots from their elevated tee positions south toward Pauley Pavilion during designated hours. On the 20 by 60-yard practice green, players will have the option of working on their sand games. chipping, or practicing their putting. The putting surface features bent grass with an anticipated speed similar to the greens at Bel Air CC.
Construction of the brick storage building is scheduled to begin on the west end of the facility in January of 2004.
An iron fence surrounds the entire facility, protecting it from unnecessary foot traffic and errant objects from the competitions on the intramural field. Native landscaping offers further protection. Gates can be opened at scheduled hours when players hit practice shots south toward Pauley Pavilion.
"This facility is a major step for golf on campus," stated Vincent. "Our players, who need to practice every day, will be able to work on their games without leaving campus. The facility will also serve the golf club to give it a place for instruction and practice."
The festivities on Saturday also will include a reunion for UCLA's 1988 NCAA championship men's golf team and a barbeque at the Rose Bowl prior to the UCLA-Oregon football game.