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Razorbacks Open New Practice Range

College CentralJOHNSON, Ark. -- A practice range and building for the University of Arkansas men's and women's golf programs has opened.
The practice space outdoors includes a driving range and short-game area. Players can putt on bentgrass or Bermuda greens.
ArkansasThe 4,800-square foot building features six heated, indoor hitting bays that open onto an expansive practice range, men's and women's locker rooms, meeting space and coaches offices.
Players can analyze their swings using a video setup that has the most up-to-date, golf-specific equipment available, according to Athletic Director Frank Broyles.
Since the men's golf program resumed in 1979 and the women's program started in 1995, the teams have had playing privileges on many northwest Arkansas courses but no place of their own.
The new facility also will help with recruiting since most other Southeastern Conference schools are in warmer locales and have practice facilities.
Down from the players lockers are lockers for Broyles, football coach Houston Nutt and PGA Tour players John Daly and Hal Sutton.
Daly, an Arkansas letterman, has been active in contributing and raising money for the golf program. Sutton has been a longtime supporter of the athletic department.
Architect Marlon Blackwell of Fayetteville called the design ``Ozark contemporary.'' The building is rectangular with a gently slanting roof. A wall of glass on one side provides a panoramic view of the practice grounds. Blackwell used copper and dry-stacked stone from Paris, Ark., on the exterior, and walnut and cherry wood milled locally for the interior.
The total cost of the facility is expected to be $750,000 to $800,000. Broyles said private contributions are paying for it.
An official dedication will be scheduled this spring.
A neighboring private golf course, being developed by John Tyson of Tyson Foods Inc., is expected to open this summer.
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