The programs opened the 1,344 square-foot, all-weather practice facility with a ribbon cutting and open house. After a greeting from project coordinator Bernie Haney and notes of appreciation from the K-State coaches, K-State golfers Kali Quick, Michelle Regan and Kyle Yonke, along with Fieldhouse Development President Zac Burton, christened the facility with straight drives out of the hitting bays.
The facility includes three all-weather hitting bays, an indoor putting surface and a hitting bay with cutting-edge video technology. The $275,000 project was made possible by generous donations from the Burtons and supporters of Chip-In for K-State Golf and will allow K-State golfers to improve their game no matter the season or weather.
"This facility will allow our players the opportunity to develop and refine their games during the entire golf season, not just the winter months," men's golf coach Tim Norris said. "The Wildcats now have the chance to feel competitive in the early part of the spring season. I look at the indoor facility as an improvement tool more than a recruiting tool.
"We are very thankful to all the donors that made this possible, most importantly Zac and Amber Burton. Zac personally designed this building to the exact specifications provided by the installers of the V-1 Video Golf System. The Fieldhouse Development Indoor Facility along with the outstanding golf course, par 3 course and practice areas at Colbert Hills puts K-State in a class by itself for a university golf course in the Midwest."
Visitors to the facility were allowed to drive balls from the hitting bays and were given a demonstration of the state-of-the-art video technology that will enable the Wildcats to improve their swings and putting skills.
"The K-State Golf Fieldhouse Development Indoor Facility will increase our practice opportunities during the winter months," women's golf coach Kristi Knight said. "We now have the ability to hit practice balls on very cold days and see the flight of the ball. The team and I are also excited about the video technology. It will provide great insight and feedback to improve our mechanics."
Haney, K-State's assistant director for development, thanked donors to the project and those who contributed through the Chip-In for K-State Golf Program, which is responsible for furnishing the amenities inside the facility. Burton, a former K-State football player, believes the facility will take the golf programs to the next level.
"Coach Norris, Coach Knight, and Bernie Haney deserve a great deal of credit for their vision and dedication to Kansas State golf," Burton said. "The coaches have done an outstanding job of recruiting talented golfers to K-State. Our hope is that this facility will allow them to work year-round to achieve their goals of bringing Big 12 and NCAA Championships home to Manhattan.
"People will be surprised by how functional the indoor facility really is. We worked closely with the coaches to build a structure that will allow up to six golfers to hit full shots onto the driving range at Colbert Hills regardless of weather conditions. If it's raining, snowing, or 10-degrees below zero, the teams will be able to practice in a warm and dry environment, while still executing and seeing the result of full golf shots. Couple this with an indoor putting green and the most cutting-edge video technology available to golfers around the world, and this facility is definitely something we're excited about."