Facility allows athletes to practice regardless of weather conditions

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For times when Kansas’ unpredictable weather is too fierce, the K-State golf teams have a place to continue their practice.

The new K-State Golf Fieldhouse Development Indoor Facility at Colbert Hills Golf Course will allow both the men’s and women’s teams to practice under the protection of a roof, analyze their swings using video, and see what they need to change in their putting game.

“It just increases our number of practice opportunities in February,” said women’s golf coach Kristi Knight. “When our spring season kicks up in late January, a lot of times we are at the mercy of Mother Nature. This just gives us more opportunities to be productive in practice and just have many opportunities to hit balls.”

Project coordinator Bernie Haney proposed the idea in a letter to donors, which asked for donations to start the project.

Funding for the project came from Fieldhouse Development President Zac Burton, a former quarterback at K-State, and from the supporters of Chip-In for K-State.

“We were definitely truly appreciative of Zac and Amber Burton in terms of what they have done to make this facility possible for Kansas State golf,” Haney said. “They have been tremendous supporters, and we would not have been able to pursue the project if it wasn’t for their help.”

The facility officially opened Oct. 14 with drives from the hitting bays by Burton, men’s golfer Kyle Yonke and women’s golfers Kali Quick and Michelle Regan.

Burton designed the facility so it could be accommodate the V-1 Video Golf System, which allows players to record their swings, analyze the flaws, and even compare their swings to those of pros like Tiger Woods.

“You could record yourself when you are swinging really well,” Haney said. “When you come back after winter break and you’re trying to get your game back. You can compare your swing to when you were swinging really good and hopefully get back to form.”

Another feature of the facility is an indoor putting surface that uses lasers to analyze a golfer’s putting stroke.

The facility also features three hitting bays that allow golfers to hit balls from the facility onto the outdoor driving range in even the worst conditions.

“It has three garage doors that we can open, and players can hit balls out on to the driving range,” Knight said. “On a day that maybe it is really cold, it’s a heated facility, so again, you are able to see your ball flight.”

With funding continuing for the project, Haney said he and the coaches will continue to look for technologies that can help the golfers improve.

“Golf is a technology sport, and there will be many things down the road that we may need to take a look at to enhance a player’s performance,” Haney said.

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