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LU golfers adding short game range

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -The Lipscomb Bisons and Lady Bisons golf teams are poised to elevate their programs; however like almost everything in life they need more money and time.

This week Will Brewer, the new Lipscomb Director of Golf and men’s golf coach, presented a plan for a short-game project to be constructed at Nashville Golf and Athletic Club. The cost of the project is estimated at $125,000. The deadline to complete the funding is March 31, 2013.

Brewer, who along with women’s golf coach Buddy Harston, are overseeing the design, is confident that construction will start on time. He is basing his optimism on responses to a funding request for the program made Tuesday night, Nov. 13, to a gathering of former Lipscomb golfers, coaches and other supporters of the Lipscomb athletics program at Richland Country Club.

“We are very excited with our agreement with Nashville Golf and Athletic Club,” Brewer said. “For us to improve our rankings and attract recruits we must have an attractive home course. This home course and short-game facility will provide us with a place to show our recruits to insure we are on the same level as other programs.”

The March 31 deadline is necessary for the state-of-the-art short-game facility to be properly seeded and allow time for growth in order to be in condition for the players when they return to school in fall of 2013.

“When Buddy and I look at recruits and our team the glaring weakness is the short game,” Brewer said. “Most players focus on their swings and they forget about scoring shots. We have been able to improve this fall through mental awareness and our short game.”

One of the major points made by Brewer during the gathering was the need to rebrand the Lipscomb golf programs. In September the Bisons were rated 239 in GolfStat. This week the team is rated 161. In the Golfweek rankings the men were at 215 Sept. 1 and are 146 this week.

“We are pleased with the team’s improvement,” Brewer said. “However, we are not satisfied. We have more goals set and championships to compete for.

“Quite frankly, our acceleration has been better than I imagined. I think we can get into the NCAA top 100 soon. That might be three years, two years or six months. I know we have a strong recruiting class for 2013.”

Brewer also pointed out the need for more funding for tournament and recruiting trips as well as for scholarships.

“We are not in a crisis mode, but we are under-funded,” Brewer said. “Most of that scholarship funding need is on the women’s side. The NCAA provides the women’s team with six scholarships. We are at 3.2 for both the men and women. The men’s program is allowed 4.5 scholarships.”

Brewer also wants to upgrade tournament schedules which will increase the competition level for Lipscomb’s golf teams as well as, hopefully, allow the team more opportunities to move up in the rankings. 

“Western Kentucky has a tournament and we should be in it,” Brewer said. “There is a tournament in Florida in February that I want us to play in. We need to move toward the rest of the Atlantic Sun Conference teams and that means playing in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

“We need more budget dollars to do that. As our rankings improve we will be more intentional and our brand will be more recognizable.”

In addition to Nashville Golf and Athletic, the Lipscomb teams also play at Richland, Brentwood Country Club, Old Hickory Country Club and The Grove. All offer different challenges to the players.

Brewer and Harston aren’t doing this alone. A golf council has been formed that includes Robert Frost, Glen Combs, Dale Armstrong, Dr. Ralph Samples, Loren Personette, Robbie Davis, Katherine Neely Murrie, Greg Wilder, Scott Holden, Harston and Brewer.

“I want them to help us brand our product in their spheres of influence,” Brewer said. 

Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson has no doubts that Brewer will elevate the golf programs.

“When we announced that we were looking for a Director of Golf and new men's golf coach, the first name that I thought of and the first name that was passed along to me and the name that was mentioned most frequently and the name of the person that we ended up hiring all ended up being the same name - Will Brewer,” Hutcheson said. “There is not one person I know of whose resume would fit more perfectly for the job here than Will Brewer.

Hutcheson cited Brewer’s history as a collegiate champion, as a recognized PGA professional, as a PGA Instructor of the Year in the state of Tennessee and as a parent of collegiate golfers who understands the ups and downs of the student- athlete experience.  He added that Brewer is a person who has had to work on the business side of the game and as an alumnus understands the culture and the community at Lipscomb.

“His proven record of and commitment to excellence made him the perfect choice to work with Coach Buddy Harston toward elevating our programs to national prominence,” Hutcheson said. “I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Lipscomb golf.” 

One of the most exciting fundraising events is scheduled for April 10, 2013. For $1,650 a person Lipscomb golf fans can board a chartered 737 and fly to Augusta National for a practice round and the Par 3 at the Masters. There are only 150 seats available.

Contact Will Brewer at will.brewer@lipscomb.edu  to make a reservation for the trip or to make a contribution to the program.

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.