TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona, Arizona Athletics and Tucson Country Club have reached an agreement to construct a new facility to be the official home of Arizona Men's and Women's Golf programs. The William M. "Bill" Clements Golf Center will be named in honor of philanthropist and community icon Bill Clements who passed away in 1995. The naming gift was given by Ginny L. Clements to recognize him, in this special way, for his generosity to the University of Arizona Golf programs and to the Southern Arizona community. The project, with a cost of $14.86 million, will include a laser-guided putting green, hitting bays, locker rooms, a student-athlete lounge and a medical services room among other amenities.
"I am incredibly proud of our men's and women's golf programs as representatives of the best that the University of Arizona has to offer," said University of Arizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins. "I often say Arizona Athletics is the front porch to our amazing community, and our student-athletes are tremendous ambassadors for the University's values, its spirit and our impact around the world. The members of our golf teams exemplify this role. Investing in their success here at the Tucson Country Club will advance the Wildcat community, the experience of our student-athletes and the championship tradition of these two programs."
The athletics department has exceeded the fundraising minimum of $10.5 million through the impactful giving of donors and program alumni. In addition to the Clements Family's naming gift, other lead contributions for this project include a gift from the Peter and Nancy Salter Family Foundation. Other significant donations to the facility were made by former Wildcat golfer Jim Furyk and his wife Tabitha, The Thunderbirds, Humberto and Czarina Lopez, Jim and Vicki Click, Tim and Jane Garigan, Brian and Kris Hogan as well as Thomas and Joanne Quebedeaux.
"On behalf of the Wildcat Family, I would like to thank Ginny L. Clements and our tremendous supporters who contributed to this vital project to enhance the Wildcat Way experience for our women's and men's golf student-athletes," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "The construction of the William M. "Bill" Clements Golf Center will create a transformational home for our women's and men's golf programs as they continue their traditions of excellence on the course, in the classroom and in the community. The student-athletes in our programs have built championship legacies, and this facility will be a tribute to that greatness. The Clements Golf Center will have a generational impact on the student-athletes in our programs, elevate the recruitment of future Wildcats for years to come and grow the longstanding relationship between our athletics department and the tremendous golf community in Southern Arizona. We look forward to our partnership with Tucson Country Club and the development of one of the premiere collegiate golf complexes in the country."
The new partnership will also bring top college golf tournaments to TCC as both programs regularly host events that welcome other top programs from across the country. Arizona Men's Golf's annual Arizona Intercollegiate returned to Tucson Country Club this year for the first time since 1992.
"The Tucson Country Club membership and Board are overwhelmingly excited about this opportunity to partner with Arizona's golf programs" said Chet Nowak, TCC Board President. "We've enjoyed interacting with coaches Jim Anderson and Laura Ianello and their student-athletes this past year. As community partners, TCC members look forward to contributing to and enriching "The Wildcat Way" experience for them. I'd like to congratulate and recognize TCC Committee members as well as the UA Foundation, Arizona Athletics, and other stakeholders who dedicated a lot of time and effort to this key project over the last three years."
"Our new home facility is a gamechanger for both golf programs at the University of Arizona," said women's golf head coach Laura Ianello. "I am so thankful for the generosity of everyone who supported this important project. The powerful philanthropy of our donors and the Tucson golf community has created a home for future generations of Wildcat golfers to achieve their dreams and graduate as Wildcats for life. The Clements Golf Center is crucial to our ability to recruit future champions from across the country and around the globe while providing a state-of-the-art space for Wildcats to grow and develop as golfers and as students."
The unique design, an indoor-outdoor pavilion, will flow seamlessly between indoor and outdoor settings. Optimal utility meets natural grace in this world-class facility, which will include a courtyard and roof-top deck. The facility will add to the legacy of TCC, established in 1947, that has also hosted 18 USGA Championship qualifiers.
"I would like to thank our generous donors and supporters for making this dream a reality," said head men's golf coach Jim Anderson. "The creation of the William M. "Bill" Clements Golf Center will enhance every facet of the Arizona golf programs. The experience of golf student-athletes at the University of Arizona will be elevated with a world-class facility to practice, train, study and call home. This facility will have an everlasting impact on recruiting future Wildcats and developing student-athletes into champions. The Clements Golf Center epitomizes the excellence of our university, athletics department and Tucson golf community."
The athletics department would like to recognize and thank the Pascua Yaqui Tribe who have hosted both of golf programs over the last decade at the Sewailo Golf Club facility.
Arizona Athletics hopes to break ground on the project this summer and will continue to raise funds towards completion. If you would like to contribute to the new home of Arizona Men's and Women's Golf, you can support this project by clicking here.
MORE ON THE WILLIAM M. "BILL" CLEMENTS GOLF CENTER AT TUCSON COUNTRY CLUB
Tucson Country Club was designed by William P. "Billy" Bell one of the most prominent golf course architects of his time. He bridged what is considered the "Golden Age" of golf course architecture to the modern era. Bell partnered with two of the most distinguished architects of the era including A.W. Tillinghast and George C. Thomas. These two designed some of the highest-rated courses in America including the Los Angeles Country Club, Riviera Country Club, Bel Air Country Club, San Francisco Golf Club, and Winged Foot Golf Club.
For this prestigious golf course and world-class facility, Douglas Fredrikson Architects have designed the project and tailored it to the needs of the golf programs. They are one of the premiere golf course clubhouse and facilities architects in the United States. With over 40 years of accumulated experience, they bring a tremendous level of professionalism and detail to each project. Representative work includes Whisper Rock Golf Club, Grayhawk Country Club, Indian Wells Country Club and both courses at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club.
The Peter and Nancy Salter Short Game Practice area and driving range enhancements will be designed by the Phoenix-based firm of Mike Gogel Golf Design. The firm will also be working with TCC on new green complexes as well as the addition of several new tees. Gogel comes highly recommended for his design work and attention to detail and has completed university projects for University of Kansas, BYU and Grand Canyon University. His other projects include Desert Mountain, Dallas Country Club and the Country Club of Jackson. Gogel has studied Billy Bell's design and background, and he has a thorough understanding of Bell's design criteria. His approach is to enhance the great features of the Tucson Country Club golf course.