The University Club
For more than a decade, the LSU men’s and women’s golf teams have called University Club home. The course received the honor of being ranked the 13th-best home for college golf in the country according to a recent survey published by Golf Digest evaluating the Top 15 home courses in college golf based on criteria such as shot values, resistance to scoring, course layout and design, memorability and conditioning.
After undergoing extensive renovations in 2010, the home of LSU’s nationally-ranked men’s and women’s programs features a newly-designed par-72 layout that will serve as an impressive showpiece for generations to come.
The course at the University Club was re-designed under the guidance of LSU legend and PGA Tour pro David Toms and renowned golf course architect Jim Lipe, who designed the original University Club in 1998. The course is carved into nearly 300 acres of land just seven miles south of the LSU campus on Nicholson Drive.
It came as no surprise that the University Club was selected as an NCAA Men’s Golf Regional host site during the 2013 season, marking the first time in the illustrious history of the LSU men’s golf program that the Tigers served as hosts to an NCAA postseason tournament on its home course.
The challenging 18-hole, par-72 course at University Club plays to 7,700 yards from its championship tees and features wide fairways bordered by pine hammocks and native grasses, in addition to 2,000 feet of beautiful bulkhead. Four additional sets of tees are also available for players of all ages and skill levels.
In addition, the lake areas have been increased by 110,000 cubic yards in total and more than 500 trees have been added throughout the course to provide a challenging test of golf for anyone playing the University Club.
Not only that, but the course now has one of the most impressive finishing holes in golf as the 18th hole on the back nine features a new championship “Tiger” tee with a beautiful six-foot high wood bulkhead. The lake was expanded near the green, where an additional 180 feet of bulkhead was also added.
The course was built on land donated to the Tiger Athletic Foundation and subsequently leased to The University Club. The original vision that drove University Club’s development was having a premier course that would provide a place for TAF members to play, as well as a home for the men’s and women’s golf teams at LSU.
Investment made in updating the course, as well as the program’s nearby Bilyeu Golf Practice Facility, has paid immediate dividends for the Tigers and Lady Tigers as they have quickly emerged as two of the NCAA’s leading golf programs once again.
LSU made history in 2011 as the first combined program to sweep NCAA individual titles in the same season with John Peterson and Austin Ernst being crowned national champions. The Tigers are coming off a 2014-15 season in which they captured their fifth national championship in program history and first since 1955 with a 4-1 win over the USC Trojans in the NCAA Championship Match, just one season after advancing to the NCAA semifinals of match play in 2014. The Lady Tigers have also earned a pair of third-place national finishes on the women’s side in 2011 and 2012.
The course at University Club opened for members on Oct. 22, 1998. The swimming and tennis facility adjacent to the course opened in the summer of 2000. The surrounding housing development continues to grow as homes continue to spring up, adding to the beauty of the area surrounding the golf course.
The Tiger Athletic Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation that serves as the fund-raising and development arm of the LSU athletics department. Each year, the TAF underwrites scholarship and academics awards, as well as capital development projects for LSU athletics.
Bilyeu Golf Practice Facility
On April 15, 2011, the former LSU Golf House was renamed the Bilyeu Golf Practice Facility in honor of Mary and Woody Bilyeu following their generous donation toward the redesign of the new University Club and practice facility.
Donations raised by the Tiger Athletic Foundation allowed for extensive renovations to the University Club and practice facility in 2010, creating a more challenging venue for collegiate golfers while attracting championship level events to the University Club. The NCAA subsequently awarded the University Club the honor of serving as one of six host sites for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Regionals.
The Bilyeu Golf Practice Facility first opened in the fall of 2002 to rave reviews from players, coaches and members of the athletic administration alike. This $850,000 facility funded by TAF functions primarily as a golf-learning center for the LSU men’s and women’s teams where student-athletes are able to improve their skills at one of the nation’s best practice facilities.
The Bilyeu Practice Facility features a lavish meeting room, office space for both the men’s and women’s coaching staffs and an area devoted to equipment repair and storage. It also includes locker rooms, an indoor driving range with two hitting bays and a state-of-the-art learning center which can utilize the latest technology and video analysis to benefit each player’s development in a classroom setting.
Outside the facility is a practice tee box that measures 100 yards in length, a wedge game area built in 2007 and a 10,000-square-foot putting and pitching green surrounded by practice bunkers where players are able to practice in a spacious environment.
Chuck Winstead, who is the head coach of the men’s golf team and a Top 100 Teacher according to Golf Magazine, believes that having such a facility is essential in the development of his players and is evidence that LSU is committed to running a first-class program.
“The facility offers our student-athletes an environment second to none to excel and reach their potential,” Winstead said. “The combination of state-of-the-art technology to work on their game combined with our indoor putting area to fine-tune their stroke enables our players to maximize their ability. We are able to utilize the tools we have to get the best out of each player and teach them in a comfortable setting.”