Wildman's Corner: Wisconsin to open new facility
The Big Ten prides itself on schools with tradition, and when it come's to golf, the facilities are paramount.
Purdue has one of the most well-regarded facility in college golf and it has helped its program immensely. The Lady Boilermakers are often in the national-title hunt, and won the championship in 2010. The men's team this year is ranked 41st in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and looking to make it to the NCAA Regionals.
Most of the Big Ten schools have the luxury of not only having their own golf course, but being able to provide private facilities just for the men's and women's golf team to use.
Wisconsin, ranked No. 168, has its own course, but no facility. The course, University Ridge, is well-respected nationally, but the Badgers don't have an indoor facility to practice in during the long winters. That will change in the fall of 2012.
Expected to open this October is a brand new, 12,000-square-foot Wisconsin Golf Training Facility that will only be accessible to members of the men's and women's team. The facility will have three hitting bays, two locker rooms, as well as an indoor chipping and putting area.
"This will be a great addition for our program," coach Michael Burcin said. "About half of our league has these type of facilities, and as a coach when you have one of these you don't need much else."
The new building will break ground sometime between Feb. and March, but the stakes are already in the ground teasing members of the program.
"I think recruits' parents are more excited then the players are," Burcin said. "Parents want their child to go somewhere where they know they will not only take their schoolwork serious, but their sport serious as well."
With the addition of the new complex, Wisconsin will instantly have something special to show potential recruits. The Wisconsin Golf Training Facility should be able to help the Badgers with recruiting battles with some of their Big Ten foes, as well as other schools who have similar winter weather difficulties.
The new facility for Wisconsin shows the commitment the school has to golf, as well as the quest to compete with the country's best programs.
That alone is progress.