Feb. 23, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. - After four months of construction, the doors have opened on the Herrington Golf Center. And the Ole Miss men's and women's golf teams could not be happier.
Funding for the 3,600-square-foot indoor-outdoor practice facility was provided by a gift from the Clay and Elinor Herrington Charitable Remainder Trust. It will allow both teams to practice regardless of weather conditions.
"It is a dream come true to have this new facility," said men's golf head coach Ernest Ross. "The Herrington Golf Center will certainly help our current players with their swing technique, and provides a place for excellent practice in any type weather."
The building, which adds onto the Whitten Golf House, the driving range and short-game facility, includes state-of-the-art hitting and video bays.
"It will allow us to train with a `perfect practice station' as I like to call it," said women's golf head coach Michele Drinkard. "We have set up our V1 computerized video system to instantly play back a swing just made, so our players can have instant feedback on improvement. Visual learning is the quickest way to learn and improving one percent every day is our motto towards winning each and every day."
For senior men's golfer Joe David and the members of both teams, the facility is a welcome refuge from the cold and rainy weather conditions that often plague practices in the winter and early spring.
"The new practice building will improve our games a lot, because we finally get to practice all year round and don't have to worry about weather conditions setting our games back," said David. "As golfers, we have to adjust and be able to play in any weather conditions--extremely hot days or freezing days in the spitting rain. Weather usually cuts into practice though; because when there is bad weather, you don't want to take the risk of getting sick or not being able to have a productive practice."
Senior women's golf team member Natalie Gleadall feels as though this addition will make the program a tough out this year and going forward.
"Being a senior, I am so thankful to be able to use this facility throughout my last semester of college golf," said Gleadall. "I believe with this facility our team will be able to take our performance to the next level, and we will be tough to beat on the course this season."
As a player, David could also take note of the effect that the addition of the facility will have on top-notch recruits in the future.
"The new building will help out the program from a recruiting standpoint now that our practice facilities are as good as any other SEC team," he added. "It will allow us to bring in some higher ranked players from junior golf to college golf. Getting mid to top ranked players from junior golf to your school and allowing them to use the best facilities and equipment is what makes championship teams."
Ross agreed, stating that the facility serves as evidence of the school's commitment to fielding elite teams on the links.
"This proves that our athletic administration is committed to winning in golf, for both the men's and women's programs," said Ross. "This new building certainly adds a `wow' factor to our programs."
"Our team is very appreciative of the generosity of the Herrington family, and we can't thank them enough," said Gleadall.