Dec. 13, 2001
By Athletic Media Relations Student Assistant Matt Woolley
After years of anticipation and planning, the new Baylor golf facility is near completion.
Bear Ridge Golf Course is a spectacular 18-hole public golf course built on 205 acres of land in southwest Waco. The course, designed by PGA professionals Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy, is part of the 255-acre Village at Twin Rivers housing development.
The challenging course has deceivingly beautiful features. Thick oak trees and water in play on half of the holes surround Bear Ridge's rolling fairways. On holes No. 4 and No. 6, the greens are guarded by water. It is a public golf course, which means anyone who wants to test his or her skills against this challenging course is free to do so.
"The people who have come by and walked the course say it is overwhelming," said Steve Smith, Bear Ridge's general manager.
Even more exciting to Bear fans is the new Bill and Roberta Bailey Golf Center, a facility that will be home to both the men's and women's golf teams. The state-of-the-art complex will hold coaches offices, teaching area, separate locker rooms, team meeting rooms and a repair shop for the golf programs. This facility will also allow the golfers to relax with a lounge that has a big-screen TV and couches.
The most spectacular aspect of this facility is the large doors on the back of the building that open up to the driving range, allowing the golfers to work on their swing during inclement weather. In this teaching area, high-tech video cameras record the athletes' swing and analyze what needs to be worked on. Also at this facility is Baylor's own driving range which will allow the golfers to work on any aspect of their swing. The driving range has two ends, which allow the golfers to work on their shots with or against the wind.
The new facility will not only help out the current Baylor team, but it has also helped in the recruiting of new players. The new facility excites prospected athletes and gives Baylor an edge in getting these athletes to come play for the Bears.
"It played a significant role in getting top newcomers like Derek Abel, Ryan Beca, and top junior college golfer Jamie McLeary," men's head coach Tim Hobby said.
The new Baylor golf facility was made possible by alumni and long time Baylor supporters Bill and Roberta Bailey. This is not the first complex that the Bailey's have helped build. They have given financial contributions to the new Student Life Center, the foyer at the Glennis McCrary music building, and the Baylor Alumni Building, and Baylor's endowed scholarship program. Besides giving back to Baylor financially, they have also given back with their time. Both have held numerous board positions. Bill Bailey served on the Baylor Board of Regents for 18 years, working under three Baylor presidents, Abner McCall, Herb Reynolds, and current president Dr. Robert Sloan Jr. While working on the Baylor Board of Regents, he has held numerous positions including, chairman or the Regent's real estate, vice chairman of the Board of Regents, co-chairman of the Regents' committee for the building of the Ferrell Center, and chaired the committee former to recommend a successor for Herb Reynolds when he retired as Baylor president.
In addition to her husband's involvement, Roberta Bailey has also been involved in serving Baylor. She has served on the board of the Baylor Alumni Association.
The new Bailey Golf Center is just one of many new sport complexes that have recently been added to Baylor since 1996 when Baylor became part of the Big 12. Improvements have been made to Floyd Casey Stadium including new playing surfaces, 36 luxury suites, and most recently a brand new 8,000 square foot locker room and 12,000 weight lifting facility. Another recent addition is the Grant Teaff Plaza. The entrance to the stadium off Valley Mills Drive, honors the 21-year hall of fame career of Coach Teaff.
In the year 2000, the Ferrell Center expanded its basketball locker rooms and built brand new offices for the basketball coaching staffs.
In 1998, the Turner Riverfront Athletic Complex was built adding new sports facilities. The Betty Lou Mays soccer complex was built that sits on the banks of the Brazos River. A year later, the beautiful red brick Baylor Ballpark was built. It has a capacity of 5,000 and includes a two-level press box, coaches offices, and an indoor batting facility. Softball's Getterman Stadium was also recently completed. It is a redbrick facility matching the Baylor Ballpark and holds 1,230, making it one of the finest softball facilities in the nation. In 2001, the Baylor Tennis Center was added. This $4 million facility has six out-door tennis courts, a clubhouse building, and three stadium courts.
This spring, the Wolfe Track and Field Clubhouse will be complete. It will include both men and women's locker rooms, a training room, and a coaches' locker room. It is expected to be open before the 2002 outdoor season opens.