Chris Riley received a huge boost to his program the same day he headed the USD Men’s Golf Team for the first time in the NCAA Regionals.
The school on Monday announced a $ 2 million gift from USD alumnus Paul Purcell to help build the Purcell Family Short-Game Practice Facility, a new golf training complex being designed by Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson.
Thanking Purcell and his family, USD Athletic Director Bill McGillis said in a statement, “This is a truly transformative gift that will take our golf program to the next level, positively impact the USD Scholarship experience and also transform the lives of young people our community. “
At the heart of what McGillis referred to as a “state-of-the-art facility” planned to span 1.4 hectares on campus is a natural grass short play area consisting of 7,500 square meters. ft. putting green, a 1,000-square-foot. ft. practice bunker and a 40,000-square-foot. ft. fairway and rough area.
There will be an artificial turf tee of 1,800 square meters with two types of hitting surfaces, artificial turf targets that allow control of the wedge distance from 30 meters to 85 meters, and artificial turf putting pads with different slopes.
The plan also includes the construction of a 3,000 square meter building. Foot clubhouse for the golf team and coaches. The entire facility will be located in the northeast quadrant of the USD campus.
“With the generosity of the Purcell family and the strong dedication of the University of San Diego, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about designing a state-of-the-art golf practice facility on campus for the toreros,” Mickelson said in a statement. “… The University of San Diego holds a special place in the hearts of the Mickelson family and I am excited to be working with Coach Riley to develop something really special for the young men in the USD program.”
Mickelson’s sister Tina graduated from the USD and his brother Tim coached the toreros from 2003 to 2011, leading the team to their first WCC title, five NCAA regional appearances, and three national appearances, including a top 8 finish in 2010.
McGillis said the university also intends to work with Pro Kids, First Tee, and other local organizations to use the facility for local communities like Linda Vista, Logan Heights, and City Heights.
“It has taken years to develop and I am thrilled that USD Golf finally has all the tools to compete at the highest level,” Riley said in a statement.
Riley and his team begin playing on the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque today. The top five teams and the lowest individual player who is not on one of those teams go to the NCAA championships.
“Our family is honored to give back to institutions that are very important to us – USD and the game of golf,” said Purcell. “Our hope is that this facility will advance USD’s mission of not only competing at the highest levels of the NCAA, but also making the entire community better through the game of golf.”