NORMAN – University of Oklahoma Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione officially announced Friday night the beginning of construction on a new practice facility short course, which will be named in honor of the main donor to the project, OU alumnus Jerry Ransom.
The 11-acre Ransom Short Course will have a layout similar to that of a par-3 course, featuring four holes surrounded by multiple bunkers and each green in a different style.
“Tonight is a special night,” Castiglione said during the men's golf program’s annual Sooner Open tent party. “We’ve tried to figure out what we can do to help our players and give them the resources to improve, and the addition of this short course is absolutely going to make that happen.
“It’s obviously a game-changer for our programs,” Castiglione continued. “No doubt about it.”
The Ransom Short Course project is an addition to current improvements being made at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club. The combination of the short and 18-hole courses will give OU premier training facilities that rank among the best in the nation.
“I’m so excited about where this program’s heading, and Mr. Ransom’s gracious donation is going to help us get to the next level,” said OU head men's golf coach Ryan Hybl.
Head OU women’s golf coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell echoed Hybl's sentiment.
“It’s incredible,” Drouin-Luttrell said of the project. “To have an opportunity to have a facility on campus like this is huge. It’s going to be a game-changer in our recruiting, as well. We’re really excited to have the groundbreaking ceremony and to get going.”
Ransom, who graduated from OU in 1966, began playing at Jimmie Austin as a student. As a long-time supporter of the program, Ransom was attending the Sooner Open a few years ago when he spoke with Hybl about the possibility of a short course.
“I was enthused. I had been wanting to do something for the university for a long time,” Ransom said. “I just feel like it’s the right thing to do. Everybody I’ve talked to at the University… has been wonderful. It’s just confirmed what I’m doing is right.”
Castiglione estimates the Ransom Short Course project will be completed within a year.
MEN’S HEAD COACH RYAN HYBL:
“[The short course] is super special. It’s taking us to the next level, and I just want to say a deep-hearted thank you so much to the Ransom family. From our guys, from our former players, from our coaching staff, from Joe (Castiglione), from everybody, thank you so much.”
SENIOR MAX MCGREEVY:
“I think it’s something that is really going to make us build as a program. You see these other programs when we go to different colleges that have some of these different facilities and things that could benefit them. I feel like this is going to put us over the top and kind of make us one of the premier schools that can get the premier athletes to come in every school year, and I think it’s going to rise us to the top every year.”
JUNIOR HANNAH WOOD:
“I really think this is a huge step for our program, especially because we’re going to be given so many different opportunities to learn different shots. It’s just going to be great.”