June 11, 2009
DALLAS (SMU) — Southern Methodist University broke ground Monday (June 15) on the new SMU Payne Stewart Golf Learning Center at the Dallas Athletic Club (DAC) before teeing up for the annual Mustang Club Golf Classic.
Participating in the groundbreaking ceremonies were (l. to r.) SMU Men's Golf Coach Jay Loar, SMU Women's Golf Coach Todd Selders, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Dallas Athletic Club Vice President George Belk, former Dallas Athletic Club President Stacy Urban, SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini, and SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves.
See video of the groundbreaking
or watch the Golf Channel's coverage of the event .
The center will consist of:
- A teaching facility that will feature two indoor hitting bays with state-of-the-art video swing analysis and a media-enhanced conference meeting room.
- A team clubhouse that will include men's and women's locker rooms, a Hall of Champions, coaches' offices and a study/computer center.
- A four-hole short game course planned by Chet Williams of Nicklaus Design that will create a multitude of practice stations for every conceivable lie or situation, and two large putting greens - one Bentgrass and one Bermuda.
"This golf complex will help our golf teams remain among the elite in collegiate golf while we maintain the high academic performance of our golf student-athletes," said SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini.
A partnership with the DAC will enable SMU to create this golf center that will exceed the standards of the country's other top golf programs. The facility also will be an instrumental component of SMU's successful recruitment of outstanding young golfers who will carry on the tradition Stewart established as a student-athlete and professional golfer.
SMU alumnus and two-time U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart envisioned a permanent golf course and practice facility for the University's golf program, then the one missing ingredient in SMU's quest to become a perennial top-25 golf program. His spirit and accomplishments, which he often attributed to his experience as an SMU athlete, will be memorialized by this facility. Stewart died in 1999 when the aircraft in which he was traveling depressurized during a flight from Orlando to Dallas.
Payne Stewart in his famous "soaring eagle" pose after he made a 15-foot putt to save par to win the 1999 U.S. Open.
To support this Second Century Campaign project for men's and women's golf, visit the related website or give online. You may also contact Tim Leonard, senior associate athletic director for development, at 214-768-4465 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kori Kaufman, director of athletics capital projects, at 214-768-4660 or email@example.com.
After the groundbreaking, the Mustang Club presented the second-annual Mustang Club Golf Classic followed by a dinner and auction to benefit the athletic programs.
Learn more about the SMU Men's Golf Team and Women's Golf Team.
For more information, contact Brad Sutton in the SMU Athletic Media Relations Office at 214-768-2883 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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