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Jan. 29, 2007

On Campus Short Game Area
University Club Short Game Area

With the start of the spring semester come even more opportunities for the Gamecock linksters to assert themselves as a national power. The opening of a new short-game facility at the University Club and a renovated on-campus facility enhance Carolina’s already stellar golf facilities.

Opened this past fall, the University Club short game area gives golfers several different looks and shots that they might face during competition. The new area includes several large bunkers, pot bunkers, chipping areas and enough area to work on short wedge shots. The small, undulating greens are very realistic to what is faced on the nation’s toughest courses.

The newest addition to the program is actually a renovation of a useful on-campus short game facility. With the leadership of head coach Puggy Blackmon and the design skills of associate head coach of Bill McDonald, the plan became a reality. The renovations included an artificial target green with undulation for different types of shots. A series of artificial tees were also included. The tees, which exactly mimic grass, save the turf and are placed at important wedge distances. Lastly, a new putting green was installed. Made of state-of-the-art materials, the green stays at a constant 11.5 on the stimp meter. A completely flat surface gives players the opportunity to work on their stroke without any undulation.

“With the new facilities, we have everything we need to keep our short game sharp,” sophomore Allen Koon said.

The on-campus facility, which is nicknamed “The Puggy”, was funded by the Cock and Fire Spurrier wine sales during the 2005 calendar year. This novel idea was the brainchild of Blackmon. The Ben Arnold Company and Coach Steve Spurrier were instrumental in helping the team benefit from the proceeds.

“I am excited about the fact that the team now has an on-campus area with many different looks. Fast greens, undulations, and a variety of grasses and targets allow us the opportunity to hone our skills. The time management factor is huge as well. The team can access the short-game area in between classes, giving them the chance to accomplish their goals in a quick and timely fashion. Thanks to Coach Spurrier, Ben Arnold and Puggy, the team really has a facility to be proud of,” McDonald said.