FEATURE: Dave Williams Golf Academy Becomes a Staple of Excellence for Houston Golf
Sept. 13, 2012
Houston Golf is about history, tradition, championships and the future. One can walk through the Athletics/Alumni Center on campus and witness those historical moments that shaped the way Houston Golf is portrayed today.
16 NCAA national championships, 14 conference championships and 340 tournament victories to date represent Cougar Golf moments throughout history.
2012 marks the continuation of what makes Houston Golf so special. Extending beyond the Athletics/Alumni Center onto the course, Houston welcomes the newest addition to the program--the Dave Williams Golf Academy at Redstone Golf Club, University of Houston's home course.
The 4,400 square feet facility located on the Redstone Tournament Course driving range is a first-class facility that allows Houston Golf to represent as the only school in the state of Texas that enjoys a golf facility/home, which annually hosts a PGA TOUR event.
"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," head coach Jonathan Dismuke said. "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."
The Golf Academy becomes more than just a practice facility for the current Cougar student-athletes.
"We are excited about the future and what the Golf Academy will do for our program," junior golf student-athlete Jesse Droemer said. "We have something to brag about when recruits come on campus."
From the moment they joined the Houston Golf program, an expectation and drive to be back in the national spotlight began.
"We are very fortunate. It is great to have our facility out there and work with several teaching professionals that are known nationally around the game of golf," said junior golf student-athlete Wesley McClain.
In honor of legendary Cougar head coach Dave Williams, the Golf Academy signifies his tenure at Houston, while honoring his respect and love for college golf. Williams 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," Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack 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 with than Dave Williams."
Williams 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.
"Playing for a program in which a man like Dave Williams built is an honor and privilege," McClain said. "Our team is grateful for the support from each person involved with the Golf Academy and we look forward to showing everyone what coach Dismuke and coach Hill have done for our program in 2012."
Feature story taken from the second issue of the Houston Football Game Program (Sept. 8, 2012 vs. Louisiana Tech).