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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Golf team utilizes indoor training facility, “The Lab”

Photo by Alex DeBuhr
Marquette men’s golf practices on the 2nd Floor in the APHRC.

The winter weather has shut down golf courses for the season, but that hasn’t stopped Marquette’s golf team from putting the ball in the hole. 

And within the Golden Eagles program, there is an importance of practicing all-year around.

“It’s harder to get back and compete at the highest level in golf if you take a break. Especially since we have our spring conference season, we need to be ready for February,” senior Nico Evangelio said. “We are in a different situation because some teams in the south have more opportunities than us to be on golf courses in the winter, and we have to outwork them and be more prepared for the spring being indoors.”

With the technology and space that the team has inside Marquette’s Athletic and Human Performance Research Center, the team is able to work through the break in their season to be able to compete when play resumes in February.

Built in 2019, the AHPRC serves as the home to men’s and women’s lacrosse in addition to golf. The team is positioned on the second floor. Prior to entering “The Lab,” which the team calls its training area, visitors are greeted by Big East Conference Title trophies and a map of the country with golf balls showing where the team has played in previous years.

“The Lab” features the team’s locker and equipment room, three simulator bays for swing practice, a chipping area and putting green where players can practice various shots.

In addition, the conditions of the turf can be changed to fit any shot situation that the team would like and the green speeds can be changed by rolling out the turf. 

Senior Bhoom Sima-Aree said the short game area is one of his favorite parts of the team’s indoor facilities.

“We have short grass, rough and even a simulated bunker,” Sima-Aree said. “Having a variety of shots that you can practice can prepare you for different situations on the course.”

Prior to having the facility it has today, the program was previously inside the Marquette Gym, which is located on 16th Street. Assistant coach Jace Long said head coach Steve Bailey showed him the old facilities when he was hired in 2021.

“In the old Marquette gym, there was a roll of carpet around some pillars and a net with a mat that barely had room,” Long said. “Now we’ve got three simulator bays, a whole putting green with slopes and a bunker and all that stuff. So it’s different and a lot better for sure.”

During the winter break, the NCAA has rules where teams can only practice together eight hours a week. However, the AHPRC is open 24 hours daily for players to work individually on their games.

Long said the team’s practice time together looks different in the winter.

“Four of our eight hours that the NCAA gives us together during the week is spent working out, so we use the other four to provide the guys with the framework of what they need to do to improve, and we structure their practice plan so that they can put in the work individually,” Long said.

Even with the players working independently, they maintain a competitive nature.

“There will be times when guys are in here for a couple of hours, screaming and yelling over a putting competition. They find ways to make everything competitive and fun,” Long said.

Even with all the space and technology to their aid, Evangelio said it does not live up to being outside and on a golf course.

“We can’t see the ball fly until we go and hit balls in the dome at Valley Fields after Christmas break. Then, we can go and hit wedges and at least see our ball fly 90 yards,” Evangelio said.

Sima-Aree said that watching ball flight is impactful for his golf game overall.

“Seeing my ball flight gives me more confidence in the shot I am trying to hit. If I want to hit a shot in a tournament that I have worked on in practice, I have 200-300 mental pictures of it in my practice, allowing me to execute when it matters. I don’t get that when I practice inside,” Sima-Aree said.

The fall season may be over, but the team continues to put work in to prepare for the spring season.

Long said that practicing now significantly impacts the team’s performance when the season starts again in February.

“Golf is such a feel sport, so if you stop playing for even a week or two, you fall behind, and everything gets tougher, especially since we go straight into competition in Puerto Rico when things pick back up in February,” Long said. “It’s important for us to keep rolling.”

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on Twitter. 

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About the Contributor
Trevor Hilson
Trevor Hilson, Sports Audio Producer
Trevor Hilson is from Muskegon, Michigan and he is a journalism major. He is the Sports Audio Producer for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, he plays a lot of golf and gives lessons to his friends. He is excited for the national championship banner going into the Fiserv rafters for men's hoops at the start of next season.

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