Elon athletics announces $3 million fundraising initiative to upgrade golf facilities

An Elon alumnus has made a $1 million challenge gift to inspire support for the expansion, which will place the university’s golf training facilities among the best in collegiate athletics.

Elon Director of Athletics Jenn Strawley has announced a $3 million fundraising campaign to expand and enhance training and practice facilities for the men’s and women’s golf teams, creating one of the finest golf facilities in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) and college golf.

An alumnus has made a $1 million gift to jump-start the project and challenge other donors to join in the effort to provide student-athletes with a premier environment to learn, train and compete. The project will redesign the golf complex, enhancing resources, creating new spaces and providing cutting-edge technology to improve performance and tournament play, all in one central location on Elon’s South Campus.

The project represents a significant move forward in advancing excellence in golf and Elon athletics overall, according to Strawley.

“The enhancements to our golf complex will provide a first-class opportunity for our student-athletes,” Strawley said. “It will provide them elite practice and team spaces, and state-of-the-art technology, allowing them to pursue excellence academically and athletically.”

The enhanced facilities will also strengthen recruiting and support the whole student-athlete, elevating their experience as students and college golfers.

“We are creating an environment that will allow us to attract and retain top-performing student-athletes who will advance Elon as an institution and continue to elevate a winning tradition in athletics,” Strawley said. “We are grateful to our donors for generously supporting our student-athletes and helping us achieve excellence in athletics.”

The three-phase project is already underway and is expected to be completed by December.

Pedro Rabadan ’24 practices at the improved facility.

Phase one includes improvements to the driving range for team use and the fencing-in of the greens to give the men’s and women’s teams designated practice spaces for the first time. A new 17,000-square-foot tee box and additional fairway bunker will be added, allowing players and coaches to work on specific shots to improve play. A separate 5,000-square-foot putting green and driving range will be added adjacent to the team facilities for recreational use by the campus community.

Phase two features renovations to Holland House to create a clubhouse for the golf program, including locker rooms, coaches’ offices, quiet spaces for academic study, team engagement spaces and player meeting rooms. Creating a centralized home base for golf will strengthen team culture and promote student growth off the course.

The final phase of the project includes upgrades to the W. Cecil Worsley III Golf Training Center, which will become a dedicated indoor practice facility that will allow players to train in adverse weather conditions. The training center opened in 2009 following a generous gift from alumnus and parent W. Cecil Worsley III, a 1986 Elon graduate, former member of the golf team and loyal donor to Elon athletics. Worsley served on the Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2023. He and his wife, alumna JoAnna Sutton Worsley ’87, are the parents of W. Cecil Worsley IV, a 2014 Elon graduate.

Currently, the center includes multiple hitting bays, a computerized swing analysis center, indoor putting area, an outdoor lighted driving range and area where players can work on their short game, including two large practice greens. A new indoor putting green will be added, allowing both teams to schedule indoor practice time when needed, along with an expanded flat natural driving bay that will replace the existing artificial turf. New golf-specific training equipment will also be added, allowing teams to increase their focus on athletic performance and recovery. The existing road between the Worsley Golf Training Center and Holland House will be removed, bringing the entire golf complex together.

The expanded golf facility will allow the men’s and women’s teams, including Sakura Kawakami ’26, to practice simultaneously for the first time.

Another critical component of the project is the addition of Trackman ranges that will place Elon among a handful of schools to offer this technology to players and coaches. The equipment tracks every shot hit by a player, from the club impact to ball landing, allowing coaches and players to more fully understand how to improve performance during practice and tournament play. The analytics are instantly available to each player and the coaches from the Trackman app for both indoor and outdoor play.

Don Hill, director of golf and head coach of the men’s team, called the addition of the Trackman ranges a “game-changer” for the programs. Elon will be one of only four schools in the nation utilizing Trackman for golf, joining Stanford, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Arizona.

“As a coach, we can’t be in 10 places at once, so Trackman becomes our ‘eye in the sky’ and gives the coaching staff the ability to dissect patterns and tendencies of players even further,” Hill said. “When we know tendencies and patterns, we can customize practice plans for each player and help them make the best decision possible on the golf course.”

Chris Dockrill, head coach of the women’s golf team, said having a premier facility close to the center of campus will be attractive to players and their families.

“Players can come over between classes and work on specific parts of their game, and it gives everyone the opportunity to get better,” Dockrill said. “This is one of the big selling points we have. With other schools, the players can’t do that because their facility is 20 or 30 miles away.”

Make An Impact

To learn how you can make an impact with your gift, contact Chris Hawthorne, associate athletics director for development, at (336) 278-6709 or chawthorne2@elon.edu.