The Tiger Athletic Foundation had a goal of bringing a championship golf course to the LSU community. The LSU golf programs wanted a place to call its official home.
Both dreams have become reality. The University Club has given the LSU teams a place to call home with first-class practice facilities and the U-Club has proven to be a perfect host for many LSU-hosted college events.
Now plans are in the works for an even better championship course as the TAD will partner with LSU golf All-American and PGA star David Toms, along with original course designer Jim Lipe, to redesign many of the U-Club’s holes to make it a sterner test of one’s golfing abilities.
The 300-acre course was built in 1998 on land donated to the Tiger Athletic Foundation (TAF) and subsequently leased to University Club. The original vision that drove University Club’s development was of a premier course that would provide a place for TAF members to convene and play, as well as a home for the men’s and women’s golf teams of LSU.
In April 2002, a group of local investors known as Louisiana Golf allowed the Club to maintain its prosperity and rise to a new level.
Membership is offered to members of the TAF and then extended to the general public, who first must become members of the TAF. Memberships are available not only in local categories, but state, regional and national categories as well.
More than anything, The University Club has given the men’s and women’s golf programs the practice facilities they need to be successful.
The Tiger Athletic Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation which serves as the fund-raising and development arm of the LSU athletics department. Each year, the TAF underwrites scholarship and academic awards, as well as capital development projects for athletics.
The Mary and Woody Bilyeu Golf Practice Facility
It has proven to be everything it was hoped to be. The men’s and women’s golf teams at LSU have the home they’ve always wanted right at their home course, the University Club. LSU’s Golf House offers the year-round ability to concentrate on improving the play of LSU’s student-athletes.
An $850,000 facility funded by the Tiger Athletic Foundation, the The Mary and Woody Bilyeu Golf Practice Facility functions primarily as a golf-learning center for the LSU men’s and women’s teams.
Head Coach Karen Bahnsen said the building, opened in 2003, is a great benefit to the LSU programs.
It is helping the recruiting efforts, since many of LSU’s competitors either have similar facilities or are in the process of building a similar facility.
“Our practice area is tremendous, but having a building to go with it is great,” Bahnsen said. “We have a place where we can do club repairs and where we can store our teaching aids. We have two indoor hitting bays and a room we can use for video analysis, as well as meeting space. So, as far as helping their game, we’re just basically giving them everything in the world they would need to be competitive in the NCAA arena.”
Bahnsen said LSU’s golf teams are already well equipped for practice at University Club, with a 100-yard-long tee box and 10,000-square-foot putting green that has bunkers around it.
In all, the practice facility also contains locker rooms for the men and women, an office for each coach, a kitchen and indoor and outdoor storage.
Recently, it has undergone a renovation that features a spectacular graphic design in the lobby and meeting room that showcases the history of both the men’s and women’s golf programs at LSU.