April 18, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford University Athletics has teamed with Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects to create what is arguably the most innovative practice facility in all of golf. The 30-acre practice center is designed to provide Stanford's men's and women's intercollegiate teams a unique training experience at a facility that is unmatched in collegiate golf.
The Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex is crafted on 30 acres of previously undeveloped land adjacent to the Stanford Golf Course. The distinctive quality of the facility is its six green complexes, complete with bunkering, each inspired by a different design style that Stanford's men's and women's intercollegiate teams play on a regular basis, each complete with intrinsic grasses and sand textures.
Driving the design concept for what have been tabbed the "Road Game Greens" was the objective to provide practice conditions most realistic to those players encounter in competition. RTJII and the Stanford golf coaching staff together settled on adopting specific characteristics of six designers: Alister MacKenzie, Pete Dye, A.W. Tillinghast, Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Robert Trent Jones II.
"The Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex represents a huge step forward for our golf programs and the golf community at Stanford," said head men's golf coach Conrad Ray. "Having a facility that offers different types of design characteristics, grasses, sands, and shot scenarios we can truly "practice to play" which is a underlying principle by which we prepare. The Siebel Complex is unlike any other collegiate facility in the country. It will add to our recruiting efforts as well as the game development of the players that are already on the team. We are very thankful of the support we have been given by the University and supporters as well as for the relationship that has been fostered with RTJII Golf Architects."
"We wanted to create a competitive advantage," said Jay Blasi, the Stanford project director for RTJII, which has its international headquarters virtually next door in Palo Alto. "The players can practice here what they will see around the country, in the spirit of the architects whose courses they will play regularly."
Hitting areas and putting greens vary not only in style, but in their surface, as well. Players can get the feel of hitting and putting on bent grass, Bermuda grass and fescue. That philosophy applies to the various practice bunker areas that provide three completely different textures - coarse, desert waste-bunker sand; pure white, fluffy sand; and beige, medium-coarse sand.
Adjacent to the second fairway of the Stanford Golf Course, the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex is laid out in an L-shape, with two sections - 200 yards wide by 400 yards long - that overlap at the turn. With the greens strategically placed around the perimeter of the property, all six complexes can be used at the same time that other players hit into adjacent landing areas. Also, players can hit to greens from an almost never-ending variety of spots.
"You are limited only by your imagination," Blasi said.
The Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex is a welcome addition to Stanford's state-of-the art athletic facilities and opens more playing opportunities to the Stanford golf community. Specifically, the south driving range, former teaching area and the former varsity range have opened up to serve a broader audience. With the opening of the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex, these facilities are now more available and offer extended opportunities for individuals to participate in golf.
About RTJII Golf Course Architects
With headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., RTJ II is the preeminent golf design firm worldwide. Trustees of a great tradition of golf course architecture, RTJ II is committed to creating golf courses where nature works in harmony with the values of the royal and ancient game. The RTJ II design team has experience in every aspect of golf course development and the ability to provide support and expertise from conception through completion of any project. The firm has satellite offices in Europe and Asia, as well as North Carolina, Texas and Georgia. For additional information call +1 650-326-3833 or visit rtj2.com/.