Published Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 12:05 pm
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Made possible by the generosity of Deborah Mihm Critzer ’82 and K. Scott Critzer ’81, the Longwood men’s and women’s golf programs now have a new state-of-the-art indoor training facility on campus.
The training center, a project that has been in the works for years, is located just outside Tabb Hall on the north end of Longwood campus in a facility that was renovated with a $ 34,000 gift from the Critzers.
The Longwood Golf Performance Center houses a TrackMan 4 golf simulator and batting cage that provides real-time feedback on swing data and unlimited access to virtual golf courses and training programs for Longwood’s golf students.
“Longwood laid the foundation for our successful careers,” said Scott and Deborah Critzer, who inaugurated the facility in May with men’s head coach Kevin Fillman, women’s head coach Brittany Dabule and members of both golf teams.
“We have decided to give something better than to finance the new Golf Performance Center. The new facility will provide both men’s and women’s golf teams with real-time technology-based swing data feedback and a 24-7 practice location to suit student athletes’ schedules. We are honored to support our fellow Lancer; they only deserve the best. “
The TrackMan Golf Simulator is widely recognized as the standard for virtual golf training systems. Using dual radar technology, the system instantly analyzes multiple components of each swing – including club speed, club path, face angle, loft, ball speed, spin rate, and more – to simulate the landing position of a ball with an accuracy of 18 inches. The system provides real-time swing analysis for a player’s short and long game, as well as training logs focused on specific aspects of the game.
Longwood Athletics Director Michelle Meadows said, “On behalf of our undergraduate golf athletes, the Athletics Department, and Longwood University as a whole, we thank the Critzers for helping make this dream a reality for our undergraduate golfers.
“As a direct result of their generosity, our men’s and women’s golf teams now have access to a training facility that is unparalleled at college level. Your support for Longwood golf provides an immediate enhancement to the student and athlete experience that will last for decades to come. “
The facility offers space to practice all aspects of the game of golf, from putting to driving and everything in between. The TrackMan provides access to more than 100 virtual courses from around the world, including famous venues like Pebble Beach, PGA National and St. Andrew’s.
“The Performance Center allows us to do the things our golf team has to do when the conditions don’t allow us to,” said Fillman, who knocked the Longwood Men to a draw in last year’s Big South Championship stroke play round took first place. “That is the greatest advantage that it gives us. If we’ve had bad weather we can hit both punches and putts while still looking at the numbers we use to improve the game.
“Our entire team is grateful to the Critzers for helping to fund the facility. I met Scott and Debbie not long after I arrived 24 years ago, and they have been extremely supportive of our program and what we’ve tried since then. Your generosity has always been astonishing and much appreciated. “
Longwood Head Coach Dabule added, “I would like to thank the Critzers for their generous donation in laying the foundation for our Golf Performance Center. The GPC was a tremendous addition to our golf programs for men and women. Our teams have 24/7 access to a high-end training system and the opportunity to further improve their skills in bad weather. It also gives our players a place to relax and socialize with their teammates and adds a lot to their student-athlete experience at Longwood. “
Longwood Golf Performance Center will fuel the growth of Longwood’s men’s and women’s golf programs that shone in the postseason in 2021. On the men’s side, the Lancers tied for first place and best third place in the tournament program, while Senior Brandon Weaver tied for second place in stroke play, a program record.
In the women’s category, both Diana Domenech and Emma Landis shone at the Big South Women’s Golf Championship and made this year’s tournament for the third year in a row with two female golfers making it into the top 25.