Lonnie Poole Golf Course
Adding to the tradition and distinction of NC State University's commitment to academic and athletic excellence, the first 18-hole golf course was built on NC State's Centennial Campus. Thanks to a $3 million gift from Lonnie C. Poole and his wife Carol Lynn Poole in the spring, construction on the Lonnie Poole Golf Course began in the summer of 2007, and play begun in the summer of 2009.
The course is an 18-hole, 7,350-yard, par 71 public course. Funds were raised for a $11.6 million dollar Arnold Palmer Signature multipurpose golf course that would also include a research center and clubhouse. It would not only aid the golf teams, but would also support critical academic programs, including the Professional Golf Management (PGM) and turfgrass programs.
The Palmer Course Design Company, a team of superior golf design and construction professionals, has been chosen to oversee a signature course built with the Wolfpack's athletic, academic and alumni goals in mind. Erik Larsen, a NC State alumnus, is the architect designing NC State's golf course for Arnold Palmer Designs.
"Our goal was to build a course equal to or better than any collegiate course in the country," stated Larsen. "I'm very confident this is going to be a top quality course that will provide an excellent venue for collegiate competition."
The 18-hole tract features great variety, with low lying areas as well as fairways with rolling hills. It also features beautiful green sites as well as tee boxes. Several areas of the course will provide gorgeous views of downtown Raleigh as well as the NC State campus.
"The course features three types of character - flat, wetlands, and trees - which makes it a very interesting golf course," commented Larsen. The par 71 course will list nine par four holes, five par threes and four par five holes, measuring 7,350 yards from the championship tees. A driving range and practice green are also available.
The NC State golf course, research and training facility, and clubhouse covers approximately 200 acres and be positioned on the southernmost portion of Centennial Campus, easily accessible from Interstate 40. These facilities support the academic and athletic needs of the university, and will also benefit the community by providing the only public golf course inside the beltline.
The research and training facility serve as the focal point for critical research, teaching and extension programs within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and as a central laboratory for NC State's prestigious Turfgrass Management and Professional Golf Management Programs (PGM). This 12,000 square foot facility includes classrooms, working laboratories, meeting and conference rooms, offices, and storage for the turfgrass program and for the PGM program, as well as offices, locker rooms, showers, meeting room, storage and a golf club repair area for the golf teams. Common areas include a reception area, offices, student lounge, classrooms and conference room.
The clubhouse will be an 8,500 square foot, two-story frame building with a 1,200 square foot outdoor terrace overlooking the course and practice range. NC State's environmentally-friendly golf course will not only fulfill its role for recreation and athletics, but will provide the university with a functioning laboratory for research, instruction, and training. In addition, the university will propose this course for the Audubon Signature Program certification. This program strives to balance wildlife conservation, habitat enhancement and environmental improvements with the economics and practicalities of running a golf course.
With the proximity of the golf course to the new Alumni Center, NC State clubs, conferences, meetings and reunions will have the option of including golf tournaments as well as hosting fundraising golf tournaments.
A prestigious golf course, research facility, and clubhouse that will not only entertain, but educate; built not just for the love of the game, but to also give greater opportunities for success in the game of life.