Thanks to private donations to Loyola Marymount University Athletics and the men's golf team, a new on campus practice facility was constructed and completed prior to the Lions' first-ever championship run in 2006. The state-of-the-art facility, the Thomas Higgins Short Game Center, is named in the honor of Thomas Higgins, S.J., who was the head coach of the men's golf program for 30-plus years.
The facility is the first of its kind in the West Coast Conference and brings golf back to the LMU campus for the first time in 50 years. It includes a putting green, two bunkers and a driving cage built on the east side of the athletics grounds on the Westchester campus. Construction took place over the summer and fall of 2005 by Back Nine Greens, who specializes in putting facilities.
With the construction of the new practice facility, golf returns to the LMU campus for the first time since the 1950s when a par-three golf course used to be on the northwest side of the school.
"Golf is finally back to the Westchester campus," said fourth-year men's golf head coach Alex Galvan. "This new facility will give our players and program a huge advantage as we move to compete for the West Coast Conference."
The total area of the putting green is around 5,900 square feet of synthetic turf and will include a first cut fringe and rough. The putting surface will be more than 2,800 square feet of polypropylene fibers and 1.25 inches in height. The first cut fringe is around 600 square feet and will be 1.75 inches in height. The final cut of rough will be more than 2,000 square feet at two inches in height. Nine different cups with pins and flags will be installed into the putting surface.
The two bunkers will surround the green on the northeast side. The larger of the two bunkers will measure around 14-feet by 20-feet with the other around 10-feet by 18-feet.
Completing the project is the driving cage built from the old handball court on the east side of the facilities. The left side of the old court will be for the golf driving range while the right side of the court will be the softball batting cage.