The renovated Gleacher Golf Center gives Northwestern golfers an edge


The new Gleacher Golf Center at Northwestern University features a number of new technological advances to aid Wildcats’ golfers.

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EVANSTON - There are hopes for a facility when there are funds raised, designs are put to paper, and when construction commences.

Yet in the end, those who helped to make a new athletics facility don't know if they've succeeded until they've gotten a chance to try it out. Hopes are one thing, but desired results are another, and that will truly prove if the efforts to create it have come to fruition.

After nearly three months in their newly renovated golf facility, Northwestern women's golf coach Emily Fletcher is convinced the school got it right when it comes to the Gleacher Center.

"It's been fun to see that labor of love and how it's translated. Even being in this space since November, we didn't miss on much," said Fletcher of the facility. "This really is spectacular. It's everything we hoped it would be, and that's pretty special when you can move into a space and feel that way."
Members of the Wildcats' golf program were in agreement on that fact when they held a media open house for the newly renovated golf center on February 4th. The $5.7 million dollar renovation, which came thanks to a gift from University trustee and former Northwestern golfer Eric Gleacher, expanded the facility to three times the size of what's been there since the late 1990s.
Added amenities include new locker rooms, coach's offices, expanded short game/putting area, workout room with golf-specific training equipment, and a sizable student-athlete lounge.
"It's been incredible for all of us. One of the best things that happened here; it's the first time our coaches have ever had offices in the same place our student-athletes are," said Northwestern director of golf and player development Pat Goss. "So that's really been fun. The vibe and energy has really been cool. It feels like I'm at an Olympic training facility for golf every day."
One element that's made it so is the technology added to the facility to improve the skill of the program's golfers. It includes three training areas featuring Swing Catalyst Force Plates, TrackMan Golf simulator along with an instruction bay. One of the most unique pieces of equipment is the "Putt View" 3D putting green that can adjust heights and angles to allow the golfers a chance to practice a number of different shots.
"We've already seen a boost, and I think the time they've spent on their games and between all the technology, now we can simulate any kind of situation that we're going to see on the road," said men's golf coach David Inglis of the new technology in the Gleacher Center. "If we're gonna see a Pete Dye Golf Course with a hazard all the way down one side and the wind coming off the lake, we can set that up in the simulator and practice for it.
"So I do think that transition from indoor to outdoor season for us has become a lot smoother with all the new technology we're able to use in the Gleacher Center."
That was proven this weekend for the men's program as the Wildcats won the Big Ten Match Play title in Palm Coast, Florida. Fletcher said she's seen similar positive results from the new facility in a few training trips south for her team since the facility opened.
"We've come off two practice trips down to Florida, training trips in January and we actually talked about it as a team is how different did it feel compared to being in this space and then being outside," said Fletcher.  "Nearly every one of the players said it didn't seem as drastic of an adjustment from going indoors to outdoors, even on our training trips because we had, what Pat referenced, as far as more realistic feedback from the simulators and such, was really able to enable them to take things they're working on technically and then hit a shot and have some real value going right, going left, and that simulator is bridging that gap."
While fulfilling the expectations the program had for the facility when the idea was first conceived.


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