The University of Minnesota recently announced that the Minnesota Golden Gophers Men’s and Women’s Golf teams will finally be getting an indoor practice facility in 2018. Yes, you read that right, the golf teams in MINNESOTA do not have a dedicated indoor practice facility. Hard to believe.
The Board of Regents officially approved the facility at their meeting on December 15th. The facility will be named after John W. Mooty after the John W. Mooty Foundation led the donations with a gift of $1 million for the facility. Construction is slated to begin this spring and the facility will open later in 2018. It will be located adjacent to the Les Bolstad Golf Course on the St. Paul Campus.
The new facility will have heated indoor hitting bays to be able to practice full swings in all weather conditions, as well as an indoor putting green and an indoor chipping green. The facility will have locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s teams, offices for the coaching staffs of both teams, a lounge for students to relax, study, and bond as a team, and a Hall of Fame area to celebrate the achievements of both programs.
The center will provide the first dedicated indoor training space in the history of the Gopher golf programs, something other programs across the Big Ten and the nation have enjoyed for decades. Despite being the northern-most school in the conference, Minnesota is one of only a few Big Ten programs without a facility for year-round, full swing and short game training.
Despite the obvious weather challenges, the Gopher men’s golf team has a rich history. Louis Lick and James McLean won individual NCAA Championships in 1944 and 1998 respectively, and the Men’s team won the overall NCAA Championship in 2002. The men have won eight Big Ten Championships with the most recent coming in 2014. The Gopher women have one Big Ten Championship in 1989.