By: Collin Frazier
“I can’t thank enough people for this becoming a reality,” says Head Coach Guarnieri
In the past few years, the Oiler Golf team has made its mark in Division II golf. The team works day-in-day-out to improve their craft, with spectacular results. However, because golf is an outdoor sport, the Oilers have had some trouble training during the cold months.
That is, until now.
On March 30, the Oiler Golf team unveiled their new indoor facility for the players to continue training in the winter. According to Head Coach Dominic Guarnieri, it has been years in the making.
“Ever since I started coaching, I knew that was one thing being in Northwest Ohio,” he explained. “[I] wanted to have this facility, and then about four or five years ago, [the idea of having a facility] gained more traction – looking for places on campus, looking for buildings.”
“Then actually [we] had a couple that fell through and then was shown this building. It was just storage and I said ‘this would actually be perfect. We just have to pretty much redo everything inside of it, but as far as how it’s laid out, it’s perfect for what we wanted’ and then I spoke with some people that support the program, specifically John Beall, and he said, ‘let’s do it.'”
The 4,000 square-foot facility consists of various ways for the Oilers to better themselves, from putting to driving the ball.
“[The facility has] two hitting bays, so they [the athletes] have the opportunity to play between ten and fifteen courses on each bay [and] utilize the driving range,” Guarnieri explained. “The size of the putting green I think is really unique. They can hit up to 75 to 80 feet, which you don’t see at many indoor facilities, so we wanted to put a big emphasis on that.”
The facility also includes a lounge for the Oilers to eat, study, and socialize — which they might just do a lot in the future, as athlete response has been tremendous.
“It’s been unbelievable,” Guarnieri proclaimed. “It wasn’t 100% completed, but it opened Jan. 10th for them to use. I think they were more shocked than they thought they would be, honestly. They came in and they used it nonstop, so it’s been phenomenal.”
As well, it has already helped with recruiting future Oilers.
“We’ve already had recruits here in January, February and March,” said Guarnieri. “They walk in and their eyes light up – you can just see the difference.”
“One of the big questions I was always asked before was ‘What do you do inside during the winter?’ and a lot of kids that wanna play golf in college – that’s a big thing for them. How are they gonna get better year round? We’ve already seen the benefits of it and I think it’s just gonna continue to help having [a] place like this.”
Of course, this facility was not erected all because of one single person. It was the culmination of Oiler Nation wanting to better the golf program.
“[I want to thank] John and Pam Beall first and foremost.,” Guarnieri commented. Brant Rhoad and his family is a big supporter – the short game area actually is named after him. Then, just honestly everybody that helped; parents, donors, friends of the program – we couldn’t have done it without anybody, no matter how small or big the donation.”
“Along with that, the administration here. They were super supportive of it, and the university as a whole. They helped find the space, they gave me the OK to go out [and] search for people to help with the donation side of it, so just I can’t thank enough people for this becoming a reality.”
Featured image credit: University of Findlay Athletics.