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Eastern Wash.: Not fancy, but valuable

• SPECIAL REPORT: Practice made perfect
• Slideshow: College golf goes high tech
• Big Ten teams turn up the heat
• L.A. schools hit the links
• Stanford: Variety spices up complex
• Colo. St.: Mid-major looks to take a leap
• UCF: A new facility under the sun

By LANCE RINGLER
Assistant Editor

Multimillion-dollar practice facilities are being planned, constructed or are already in use by many college golf programs.

In Cheney, Wash., home of Eastern Washington University, it’s unlikely there will be such a facility any time soon. The Division I school, a member of the Big Sky Conference, is not overflowing with funds for its women’s golf program. (Eastern Washington cut its men’s program in 2002.)

With money tight, coach Marc Hughes decided to make the best of what he has.

During the 2006 Christmas break, Hughes claimed an unused racquetball court in the athletic complex and turned it into an indoor facility for his team to use during winter months.

“I am able to get in there and videotape their swings and work with the players,” Hughes said. “This gives them somewhere to go on campus, and that was not possible before.”

Two hitting stalls and a putting green, all constructed and built by Hughes during a four-week period, give EWU’s golfers a place to call home when snow is covering area courses and prepare for the spring season.

“The onus falls back on the coach to create an environment and culture that the players want to be a part of and feel good in,” Hughes said. “I would love to have a $2 million facility, but for the time being I will have to settle for a $2,000 facility.”

• • •

The specs
YEAR OPENED: 2006
COST: $1,800
SIZE: 20 feet by 40 feet
AMENITIES: 18-foot-by-24-foot putting surface and two 10-foot-by-10-foot hitting stalls.

• • •

Lance Ringler is a Golfweek assistant editor. To reach him e-mail [email protected]

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