Above photo courtesy of the UMHB Athletics Department
BELTON- There will soon be an addition to the UMHB athletic facilities, per a decision by the UMHB Board of Trustees last Friday, to approve the construction of a clubhouse and practice facility for the UMHB men’s and women’s golf teams.
The announcement was made in a press release on Thursday morning, with the clubhouse and practice faculty set to be built on UMHB’s campus, west of Nolan Creek. It is set to be ready for use in the fall of 2023.
“Our men’s and women’s golf programs have a proud, consistent history of excellence that has resulted in a championship culture for both teams,” UMHB Vice President for Athletics Dr. Mickey Kerr.said in the press release.
The upgrade in facilities is well-deserved for two of UMHB’s most accomplished athletic programs. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the Cru men’s golf program has nine ASC titles. The women’s program, launched in 1996, has won both an NAIA national title (2000) and NCAA national title (2013).
“I am very excited for our current and future players to have a first-class practice facility and clubhouse that will have its home on our beautiful campus,” Kerr added in the release. “Our coaches will also benefit from superb teaching opportunities associated with these incredible venues.”
Ben Crensaw, a widely-acclaimed golf course architect, will design the practice facility, which will include three holes and additional short-game practice areas. Along with business partner Bill Coore, Crenshaw operates Coore & Crenshaw architectural firm. The duo has created some of golf’s most well-recognized courses over the past three decades, “including Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Nebraska, Bandon Trails and Sheep Ranch at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, Kapalua Plantation Course in Maui, Hawaii, and Cabot Cliffs in Canada.”
“Wow, what an honor it will be for our ladies to train in a top-notch practice facility created and designed by Ben Crenshaw, a legend in the game of golf,” UMHB women’s golf head coach Jackie Ralston said in the press release. “This will certainly be a game changer that elevates UMHB’s golf program both within our conference and at the national level.”
“The university’s campus master planner”, Earl Santee of Populous, will head up the design of the clubhouse, and according to the release, Santee “has developed a portfolio of award-winning venues such as Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York, Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minute Maid Park and NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, and UMHB’s Crusader Stadium, which opened in 2013.”
“I am so grateful for the vision of our university leaders and their dedication to excellence in all things,” UMHB men’s golf head coach Jordan Cox said in the release. “Having world-class designers like Ben Crenshaw and Earl Santee working on this project is mind-blowing, especially when you see how excited they both are about working together for UMHB. I cannot wait to see the dream of this facility come to fruition.”