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State of the art Iowa golf facility nears completion

BY TOMMY REINKING | SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 6:30 AM

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In only a few short months, the Iowa men’s and women’s golf teams will have a brand-new facility in which they can hone their skills rain or shine, day or night.

The $1.8 million building will be usable in December but won’t have a grand opening until February. The facility, located next to Finkbine Golf Course, was entirely funded by private donations.

“I like to call it a one-stop shop for everything for our golfers,” Iowa men’s golf coach Mark Hankins said. “Our guys will start their day there. If weather gets bad in the middle of practice, we can just head in there. In the off-season we can practice there as well.”

Hankins said the most important part of the building is the performance studio. The studio includes two indoor and outdoor hitting bays with five hitting stations.

Each hitting bay includes video analysis cameras by digital coaching system manufacturers V1 that will help players analyze golf swings. There are also indoor putting and chipping greens, as well as even more indoor hitting areas.

Players will be able to practice almost any time they please — the facility will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. One of the features Hankins is most looking forward to is having an office and his team’s practice areas all in one place.

“It’s just convenient to have an office out here and have the guys be able to come to me and be able to work with them,” he said. “They can work on their golf swing any time of the day, any day of the week. The golf course doesn’t even have to be open.”

There will be four offices in the facility, two for the Iowa head coaches and two for the assistant coaches. Locker rooms will be housed in the building for tournaments.

The facility will even have a lounge in which golfers can relax when they’re not practicing andhold team meetings. The lounge will also be location of the Hawkeyes’ trophy case.

In years past, the men’s golf team has had to split practice time among Finkbine, the now-defunct Bubble, Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville, and Blue Top Ridge Golf Course near Riverside.

“It’ll be nice to have an indoor to outdoor facility that’s right on campus instead of having to drive to Blue Top, as we have for the last couple years,” junior golfer Steven Ihm said. “It’s only about 15 minutes away, but then you get the snow in the winter, and it gets hard to get down there.”

Having a golf-specific building on university property was the factor that golfer Joseph Winslow said he will appreciate most.

“I think it’s going to make us better having a better facility to get to right on campus,” the sophomore said. “Having it right [at Finkbine] is going to be a little more motivational to go out and practice in the winter time.”

Above all, Hankins, said the new facility will help his athletes both on the course and off.

“If the players do have a test, they can come out and practice that night. It will help make them better students as well as players,” he said. “There’s only one way to get ahead, and that is to put in more time, golf, and continue to learn.”


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