Luke Donald Practice Facility and Gleacher Center
In the fall of 2006, Northwestern's newest golf practice facility was unveiled, the Luke Donald Outdoor Practice Facility, at The Glen Club, an 18-hole Tom Fazio design course, in Glenview, Ill. The Glen Club annually hosts the LaSalle Bank Open on the Nationwide Tour, as well as the Illinois Open.
Donald, the former Northwestern All-American and now one of the world's top professional golfer, made the lead gift for the construction of this new facility. Other major donors included James Morrison and the Dougherty family.
The Luke Donald Outdoor Practice Facility includes a 15,000-square foot bent grass range tee, a 1/2-acre practice pitching/chipping area with a 6,000-square foot usga green, bent grass, bluegrass and fescue turfed areas for a variety of lies and shots. There are also three practice bunkers, totaling 5,000-square feet for shots of varying length into the chipping green.
A 3,000-square foot practice putting green is also part of the facility as well as a fairway bunker practice shot area.The facility was designed by Fazio Design.
"When we built this facility at the Glen Club, it created an opportunity for our kids to hit balls and work on their short game more often. I feel like before this we were near the top of the list in regard to facilities, but now this puts us absolutely at the top. We have access to incredible private clubs, and I am certain that no other school has better access and is more welcome at that many great courses," said head coach Pat Goss. "We have an incredible indoor facility on campus, and now we have an outdoor facility that allows our players to hit any shot they want up to 70 yards away from the green. That allows for a lot of variety around the green. They also have a tee box that is just for them. The facility is just ours and we can use it any way we want. It allows us to work on some things that we couldn't before. This new facility really brings us to the forefront and completes the kind of practice regime we want to use at Northwestern. It gives us the ability to practice any time we want and develop our players to the best of our abilities."
The Gleacher Golf Center
The finest indoor learning center in the collegiate golf world.
On April 22, 1998, Northwestern University announced it had received a $6.1 million gift from Eric J. Gleacher to create a state-of-the-art indoor golf facility and to endow the men's and women's golf programs. The $1.1 million Gleacher Golf Center-which was enhanced in the winter of 2004 with new turf, a green expansion, new netting and a video equipment upgrade-is the finest indoor learning center in the collegiate golf world. The facility, built on the site of the University's old swimming pool located in the Patten Gymnasium complex, includes the following features:
A teaching area with three permanently mounted digital video cameras connected to two viewing monitors.
A hitting area with three stations. Players can either hit full shots into a netted area or hit pitch shots onto a green.
A 2,375 square-foot pitching and putting green with a special sand-bed golf surface which simulates play characteristics of real grass. Contouring, shaping and grading was advised by golf course architect Bob Lohmann, architect of the Merit Club, the 2000 U.S. Women's Open site.
A 280 square-foot sand bunker.
A player locker area, with 18 custom made wood lockers for club storage.
A players and sports equipment room. This "Clubhouse" structure, designed to reinforce the golf course atmosphere, overlooks the facility.
"This is the most complete short game teaching center in the country," said head men's golf coach Pat Goss. "We now have a place where we can chip, putt and practice bunker shots during the winter months. It is an extreme privilege and honor to have a facility such as the Gleacher Golf Center."
The Gleacher Golf Center measures 89x62 feet and its ceilings peak at 25 feet. Construction of the facility began during the summer of 1998 with the demolition of the old swimming complex. Completion of the golf center, available for use only by members of the Wildcat golf teams, was in January of 1999.
"There is not much doubt that my ability to play golf was the most important factor in Northwestern's decision to take me as a student, and absolutely no doubt about why I was awarded a scholarship," said Gleacher.
"As the years have unfolded, I have thought, literally thousands of times, of how fortunate I was to be treated so favorably by such an outstanding institution, and what an enormous difference it has made in my life. Northwestern's golfing achievements over the past decade have been the result of first-class coaching and recruitment followed by comparable performance on the course."