Aug. 24, 2012
HUMBLE, Texas - A little more than a year following groundbreaking ceremonies, the much-anticipated Dave Williams Golf Academy at Redstone Golf Club officially opened Friday morning.
Representatives from the University of Houston, the UH Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Redstone Golf Club and the Dave Williams family welcomed fans, dignitaries and media to the state-of-the-art facility.
With Friday's unveiling, the Cougars become the only school in the state of Texas that enjoys a golf facility/home course, which annually hosts a PGA TOUR event.
FIRST CLASS AMENITIES
The Dave Williams Golf Academy covers more than 4,400 square feet and was built on the Redstone Tournament Course driving range. Built by Darryl Schroeder's LoneStar Construction, the facility costs approximately $500,000 and was funded through a joint venture of the Houston Athletics Foundation and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Golf Academy houses four indoor/outdoor hitting bays with the latest technology, including a Launch Monitor for players to practice length, dispersion and trajectories of any shot.
In addition, a SAM PuttLab takes ultrasound measurements of the putting stroke and displays the information in simple graphic reports. A three-dimensional biomechanical measuring system helps refine the way a player's body should properly move during a golf swing.
A players' lounge and reception area proudly showcases the rich history of the University of Houston golf program through the decades. With designated office space, the facility also serves as a home-away-from home for head coach Jonathan Dismuke and assistant coach Chris Hill.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Golf Academy is operated by Redstone Golf Club and will be open to the public throughout the year for players of all ages and skill levels.
From individual and group lessons to putting, short-game and ball-striking clinics, Redstone Golf Club's top instructors will use the latest technology to improve all areas of a players' game. Charlie Epps, Redstone's Director of Golf, and the entire team of professionals will have an office in the Academy.
In addition, custom club fittings with all the major manufacturers are offered at the Golf Academy to maximize players' abilities with the best equipment.
A PARTNERSHIP WITH REDSTONE
Friday's opening was part of an ongoing relationship with Redstone Golf Club. In 2011, the Cougar program reached an agreement with the club to serve as the official home course of Houston Golf. In addition to the Dave Williams Golf Academy, the Cougars also enjoy locker room space in the clubhouse at Redstone and will practice and play regularly on the premier courses.
Redstone Golf Club also will serve as the site for the Redstone Collegiate Championships on Feb. 22-24, 2013. Hosted by UH and Rice, the three-day, 54-hole event features Houston, Rice, Baylor, Charlotte, Chattanooga, East Carolina, Houston Baptist, Indiana, Lamar, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, South Carolina, Texas and UTSA. The tournament will serve as the spring opener for both the Cougars and the Owls.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
"We are proud to open the Dave Williams Golf Academy at Redstone Golf Club. Redstone Golf Club is a first-class facility with an exceptional staff," Houston Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades said. "Playing on a home course like this with the Dave Williams Golf Academy gives our student-athletes an advantage against all other competition across the nation."
"As we continue to elevate our program to the highest levels, we are thrilled to see this day come," said Dismuke, who recently finished his third year with the program. "One of my goals was to find our program a home and to build a state-of-the-art teaching facility that would help recruit student-athletes to the city and to the University of Houston. Having the Dave Williams Golf Academy at the home of the PGA TOUR's Shell Houston Open will showcase our outstanding facility to a national audience every year."
"This is a great day for Redstone and the University of Houston golf program," said Derek Clouse, Club Manager at Redstone Golf Club. "The Dave Williams Golf Academy at Redstone is open to players of all ages and skill levels so the entire Houston community can enjoy and benefit from this great facility. Redstone's vision of becoming the premier golf facility in the region is being fulfilled with two championship-caliber courses, a TaylorMade Performance Lab, a Golf Fitness Studio with Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness Instructors, world-class practice facilities, and now, the Dave Williams Golf Academy."
ABOUT COACH DAVE WILLIAMS
Dave Williams served as the golf head coach at the University of Houston from 1952-87 and built the Cougars into one of the greatest programs in NCAA Division I history in any sport.
During his tenure, he led the Cougars to 16 NCAA team national championships covering four decades with eight of his student-athletes winning NCAA individual national titles. His teams won 341 tournaments covering four decades in 24 states and countries.
Known as the "Father of Collegiate Golf", Williams created the scoring system that is predominantly used in collegiate tournaments today. He also introduced the idea of dressing his teams in similar attire featuring school colors.
"It is altogether fitting that this new facility is named in honor of one of the most respected men in college athletics," Rhoades said. "No coach in history can boast of more team and individual success or had a greater impact on the lives of the student-athletes with whom he worked than Dave Williams."
"Dave Williams is one of the most successful coaches of all time in any sport," Dismuke said. "Fans should think of Coach Williams as highly as UCLA's John Wooden. He should be held in the same regard."
Born in 1918 in Randolph, Texas, Williams graduated from East Texas State College and eventually served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, reaching the rank of full lieutenant. Less than a week after receiving his discharge from the Navy, he joined the University of Houston... but as a member of the Engineering Department faculty.
At the urging of his friend and then-athletics director Harry Fouke, Williams began coaching the Cougar golf program on a part-time basis in 1952 and became the team's full-time coach in 1955. The rest is history.
For his impressive efforts as a leader of young men and his kind-hearted ways as a person, he was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame in 1980. Williams would eventually come to be enshrined in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame and the Houston Athletics Hall of Honor.
In 1988, the GCAA renamed its national men's collegiate golf Coach of the Year Award as the Dave Williams Award.
Williams passed away on Dec. 17, 1998, at the age of 80.
REDSTONE GOLF CLUB
Redstone Golf Club offers two championship courses (18 private, 18 public) located in Humble, Texas. The public Tournament Course, a Rees Jones/David Toms creation, is the city's only PGA TOUR course and home of the Shell Houston Open.
The private Member Course, home of the 2003-05 Shell Houston Open, is a Jacobsen/Hardy masterpiece offering its own unique challenges on a beautifully landscaped layout.
Together, with Redstone's TaylorMade Performance Lab - Golf's Ultimate Club Fitting, Redstone Golf Fitness Studio with Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness instructors, world-class practice facilities and the Dave Williams Golf Academy, Redstone treats players to a pure golf experience.
Redstone also has a spectacular clubhouse, locker rooms, restaurant and meeting facilities, all in a pure golf setting. Redstone was developed and is owned by The Redstone Companies.
Private Member Course - 525 members; 7,508 yards; opened in 2003
Public Tournament Course - 7,422 yards; opened in 2006