There's no place like The University of Texas Golf Academy
Paraphrasing a line spoken by Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," Texas men's golf coach John Fields says his men "have a home."
Ditto for Coach Susan Watkins' women.
That's what The University of Texas Golf Academy is for the nationally-acclaimed Texas Golf teams.
"The Academy has been a longtime dream for everyone," said Watkins, who has been at UT for 13 seasons. "This brings a different dimension. Having this is paramount for our program."
"For the first time in the history of UT golf, our guys have lockers," Fields said, his voice rising an octave as further evidence of his enthusiasm for this facility at The University of Texas Golf Club.
"We now have a place that is among the best in the nation," he continued. "I am really excited. Our kids now have a launching pad."
One of Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds' favorite expressions with regard to The University of Texas' spot in the world of intercollegiate athletics is: "We are the Joneses." That's as in others trying to "keep up with the Joneses."
The UT Golf Academy is what Dodds is talking about.
"One of the great things about being at The University of Texas," Watkins said, "is that Texas never settles for anything less than the best. And this is the best."
The 5,100-square-foot facility features three indoor/outdoor hitting bays, players' lounges, and coaches' offices, as well as an academic center.
The V1 video equipment is state of the art and is used by many touring pros both on the men's and women's circuits.
"Talking about the UT Golf Academy really doesn't even do justice to it," Fields continued. "It is just that great. It sounds like a building, but it is so much more. It is our home."
The $1.2-million project is being financed by UT Athletics' fundraising activities, which includes pro-am tournaments, as well as other private gifts. The next pro-am is slated for next fall and will include many UT greats currently playing on the tours.
"I am so thankful for the gifts and for the Texas Athletics administration for their support in making this happen," Fields said. "I thank Mike Myers and Bill Duval, The Partnership, for making this happen."
Watkins echoes that sentiment. "We all are most grateful for this," she added. "We realize how fortunate we are to have this. You should see the way the kids take care of the place."
The University of Texas Golf Academy is due to open this month.
And Dorothy was right: "There's no place like home."