June 19, 2014 8:51:22 AM
STARKVILLE -- West Point's Old Waverly Golf Club, one of the South's premier golf destinations, will become the new home to Mississippi State men's and women's golf programs, the MSU Athletic Department announced Wednesday.
The Bulldog Club, the private fundraising arm of the MSU Athletics, has partnered with Old Waverly on a $2.2 million project that includes a driving range, short-game area, putting green, a team clubhouse, and indoor hitting bays. More than $1.3 million has been raised.
The first phase, which features the team practice areas (driving range, a short-game area, and a unique putting green shaped as the state of Mississippi), is under construction and should be completed this fall.
A 6,300-square foot team clubhouse with locker rooms, players' lounge, coaches' offices, indoor putting center (with Sam PuttLab training system), exercise room, and conference room will be constructed once fundraising is complete. The project also will feature a 2,431-square foot indoor hitting bay, equipped with two Trackman swing and ball flight analysis systems and a club repair room.
World-renowned golf course architecture firm Hanse Golf Course Design is planning the practice area and driving range. The company's founder, Gil Hanse, was elected "Architect of the Year" by Golf Magazine in 2009. Hanse Golf Course Design was recently selected by the Rio de Janeiro Olympic committee to design the host course for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Old Waverly was founded by MSU alum George Bryan. MSU's Athletic Administration building, the Bryan Building, is named after his father, John H. Bryan Sr.
"The proximity to Old Waverly, along with the long history between the Bryan family and Mississippi State, made this project possible," MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin said. "The new Bulldog golf facility will be one of the finest of its kind in the nation. The all-encompassing facility will dynamically enhance our golf programs and provide our student-athletes with all of the tools necessary to develop their skills on the course."
A fixture on the annual Golfweek Top 100 and Golf Digest 100 "Greatest Courses in America," Old Waverly is one of the South's classic par-72 layouts. Since 1990, Old Waverly has hosted numerous events, including the men's and women's Southeastern Conference Championship, Southern Golf Association Women's and Junior Championships, the 2006 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, as well as the 1999 U.S. Women's Open.
"This opportunity that Old Waverly Golf Club and our donor family is providing is program changing," MSU women's coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. "Our program has grown tremendously, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds with a facility of this caliber. The future of Mississippi State golf is exploding with excitement and promise."
Said MSU men's golf coach Clay Homan, "With the support of the Bryan family and other key donors, we will soon have one of the top facilities anywhere. This facility has been given a tremendous amount of thought and planning and is sure to give our student-athletes all they need to excel at the highest level."
In 2013-14, the MSU women's team posted its best NCAA Championship finish, taking sixth, while the men's team reached NCAA Regional play for the second-straight year.