Oct. 24, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State broke ground on the clubhouse for the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Wednesday. The construction on the 25,000-square-foot Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse will begin construction this November and will be completed in late 2013.
"This is the single most important day in the history of our golf programs," said Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow. "In our enterprise, often people say facilities are the silent statement of commitment, and they truly are.
"When recruits come here, and they're trying to decide if they're going to go to Duke, if they're going to go to Carolina,if they're going to Wake or if they're going to come to NC State, I think when they round the bend and they see this place the answer will be in front of them related to our commitment as a university and as a athletic program to men's and women's golf."
Yow later summed up her comments with this statement.
"When this facility is finished, truly NC State will have the best golf facility and clubhouse in the United States."
Men's golf coach Richard Sykes has pretty much seen it all in his 42 seasons with the Wolfpack, but the one thing he hasn't had is a clubhouse.
"This is special not only for all the people here today, but for so many others that have worked hard to make this happen," said Sykes. "I remember Carl [Petersson] hitting that shot into the kudzu [back i 2007] and now this is really happening."
Candid as always, Sykes really looks forward to the day his players have a place to store their bags.
"It will be nice for our clubs instead of the trunk of our car. That has been our clubhouse for a long time."
Women's head coach Page Marsh echoed similar thoughts about both programs having a place that they can call their own.
"It gives the student-athletes a home," Marsh said. "It's a wonderful recruiting tool. It gives us credibility as a program, and speaks to the level of commitment our programs are receiving from a university and athletic department level."
The Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse is named in recognition of a $2.5 million portion of the Poole family's $40 million gift to NC State in 2010.
In addition to serving as a home venue for the NC State men's and women's golf teams, the Lonnie Poole Golf Course is being used as a research and training facility for the nationally-recognized Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education at NC State, and a "living laboratory" for research into soil science, pathology, toxicology, wildlife management, urban forestry, and water conservation.
Students in NC State's Professional Golf Management Program also learn first-hand course operation and management skills at Lonnie Poole Golf Course and Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse.
The Arnold Palmer Course Design Company, led by NC State graduate Erik Larsen, broke ground on Centennial Campus in 2007 and LPGC was open two years later in the spring of 2009.
Lonnie Poole highlighted today's festivities like this: "This is a beautiful golf course, but it's not finished until it has a 19th hole, a clubhouse, a teaching facility and a place for our teams.
"We are going to be right there with Wake Forest and Mr. Palmer will come down one day and regret he did this."