The Murray State Athletics Facility Master Plan includes Racer women’s golf both on campus and at their home venue, Miller Memorial Golf Course.
Today we take a look at the vision for the future of women’s golf facilities at Murray State. One that will maximize player development and recruiting to position the women’s golf program at the top of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Frances E. Miller Memorial Golf Course has given the Racers a wonderful place to play and practice. However, there is more to be done at the home of Murray State golf since 1983.
Murray State Athletics intends to build a 300-yard driving range, including a shallower and more functional grade. Covered, heated and lighted Indoor hitting bays within in a building on the driving range will allow the Racers to get their swings in, no matter the weather. In order to make room for a longer driving range, practice greens will be reconfigured and enhanced, improving short game practice areas. The Racers already enjoy a great locker room at the Miller Memorial clubhouse.
The Racers will have a place to practice on the Murray State campus when they are away from Miller Memorial. Opening in late August, Racer Golf will benefit from a 2,000 square foot indoor practice facility housed on the second floor of Roy Stewart Stadium, including three hitting bays, a practice green and putting lab. The Racer golf teams are getting plugged into high-tech with the Foresight Sports system, the most complete all-in-one virtual golf practice set up in the game. Racer golf student-athletes will be able to improve their swings through science and be on par with other programs that use this technology. This $150,000 project, funded through private gifts, exemplifies great progress in the facility master plan’s support of the Racer golf programs.
“The on-campus indoor facility will greatly impact our program,” said Coach Velvet Milkman. “The upgrades at Miller will also have a significant impact on our program, enhancing our player development and recruiting for years to come. From an academic standpoint, having a place to practice on campus adjacent to the Weaver Academic Center, serves as a significant benefit when class schedules don’t accommodate running out to Miller Memorial. These enhancements will not only help us win OVC championships, they will facilitate successful outcomes in NCAA Regional play.”
The impact of the enhancements for Miller Memorial and the indoor facility at Stewart Stadium has caught the attention of both current and former Racers.
“Ever since I started taking lessons when I was coming into high school, I’ve had the chance to use this golf technology to understand the science of the golf swing,” said MSU junior Peyton Carter. “It basically shows me what the club is doing when it hits the ball and what the ball does in flight. I am also excited about the putting lab and very happy that we’re getting these tools that can help us get better.”
“When I think about all of these improvements for women’s golf, it gives me a sense of more opportunity for our players to improve,” said former Racer and 2019 OVC Tournament champion, Anna Moore. “Our sport is played outdoors, but we can’t always be outdoors in this area. Snow stops you, cold stops you and a wet golf course stops you from practicing and at a certain point, it’s hard to get much done with practice. This technology gives our current players a chance to practice and get feedback on their swings.”
As the only coach in the history of the Racer women’s golf program, Coach Velvet Milkman helped launch the program in 1993. In that time period, Racer Women’s Golf won 12 OVC championships with talented and dedicated student-athletes. The August 2021 opening of the indoor golf practice facility and future improvements planned at Miller Memorial, will benefit recruiting efforts – attracting future talented players to Murray State – and position Racer women’s golf to win more championships in the future.
“You have to have good players to win championships and good recruiting makes a coach look a lot better!” Milkman stated. “The improvements at the golf course and here on campus are going to make sure we don’t fall behind in recruiting. These facilities upgrades position us at the top of the OVC and aligns us with our aspirational peers.”
Shared to Racer Nation in August of 2021, the facility master plan provides clarity and sets the Racers up for a great future. The 14-month evaluation process was meticulous and thorough and it provides a vision for a pathway to accomplish the largest advancement of athletics facilities in the history of Murray State University. An in-depth study of each athletic facility was done in consultation with university leadership, architects, engineers and construction professionals to determine the current viability, create a needs assessment and outline scope of work for each venue. The plan is part of the larger capital campaign for Murray State University. The athletics venues that will be touched include the CFSB Center, Roy Stewart Stadium, Bennie Purcell Courts, Pat Spurgin Range, Cutchin Field, Johnny Reagan Field, Marshall Gage Track, Miller Memorial Golf Course, Racer Arena and Racer Field. A new Athletics Performance Center is included in the plan.