The next big thing developing as a part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences’ Campus: a Golf Driving Range! There is a new project coming to the Professional Golf Management Department led by Chris Walsh, Assistant Director of Student Development in PGM, and Dr. Albert Miller, Professor and Director of PGM. Walsh and Miller are currently working on building a driving range that will be located at the Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory. This site was approved by former Dean Moser and is adjacent to the Turfgrass Research Center on the northwest corner of Waterman, off Northstar Ave. Walsh says, “This project has been underway for a few years and we are hoping to get some momentum going in the next few months.”
This project was the vision of Miller and Stephen Myers, former Chair of the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, and others. The purpose of the driving range is to be the education, outreach and research centerpiece of the PGM and Golf Turf programs. The driving range will be primarily used for PGM classes, Turfgrass Science classes and for PGM students to practice. They are also expecting the facility to be used by certain EDUPAES classes (Golf for Business and Life) and local non-profit groups such as ForeHope, Morty’s Kids and First Tee of Central Ohio. In addition, the facility will be used for fundraising activities by the PGM Department and CFAES. The range will not be open to the general public, as it is for teaching and research purposes.
“The facility will make Ohio State stand-out among other PGM and Golf Turf Programs around the US,” says Walsh.
The first phase of the project is to install the driving range with two large practice tees, artificial turf target areas, putting and chipping greens, bunkers and short game practice holes within the landing area/target greens of the range. Subsequent phases could include a paved parking area, equipment storage buildings, covered and heated bays for inclement weather use, and ultimately a building to house classrooms, offices, a golf club repair facility, etc. Most of the range will be planted in natural turf, but there will be some artificial turf tees and target areas. In addition, a pond of approximately two acres will be created to serve as wildlife habitat and act as a bio-filter for run-off from the driving range and surrounding research areas. From the equipment standpoint, they will have golf balls, a golf ball dispenser and equipment to pick up the golf balls. The total footprint for the facility is approximately 10 – 20 acres.
For more information, contact: Ray Miller, Director of the PGM Program, Chris Walsh, Assistant Director of the PGM Program and Shawn Cleveland, Associate Director of Development in CFAES.