Dec. 18, 2000
Each week, GoBaylorBears.com features a different guest in "Ask the Bears." This week's guests were golf coaches Sylvia Ferdon and Tim Hobby. The pair were the final guests of the year, watch for additional live chats on GoBaylorBears.com.
Who is responsible for the design and construction and management of the new golf course? Are there any aspects of the new course that were implemented based on other courses? Please elaborate. When will the masterplan and a timeline for the golf course and surrounding development be published?
Ken Brown, Dallas, Texas
Hobby: The design will be done by Peter Jacobson and Jim Hardy out of Houston. The management will be Dennis Nelson from Mission Equities. The main aspect that we used from another facility was the design of our golf clubhouse/locker room. We looked closely at the University of Oklahoma, as far as their clubhouse goes, as well as a couple of other places. The golf course is strictly the design of Jacobson and Hardy, they've got one of the top courses in the state right now, a course called Black Horse, a 36-hole development in Houston that's supposed to be one of the best in the city. I'm sure they'll be using the same philosophy they used there on ours.
I know they want to start construction sometime by the first of the year, 2001, and be open right around a year later. We're hoping to have a groundbreaking ceremony in January.
Coach Hobby, you said this year's recruiting class was your best ever. What are the factors that have led to attracting better golfers to Baylor?
John Gameilgut, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Hobby: First, our recent history the has really helped. We've won nine tournaments in the last four years. We've had five all-Big 12 performers, one all-American, a couple of academic all-Americans. That's one factor. The main factor that led to this year's class was the new facility, the new golf course, the new practice area. That's what kids are looking for. If you don't get that in the next three to five years, in this business, you're probably not going to be able to recruit at a high level. That enabled us to attract the kids we got this year, they probably wouldn't have even talked to us a couple of years ago, without the promise of the new facility.
When do expect to begin play on the new golf course? Will Baylor students get to play for free or at a discount?
Jeremy Witt, Waco, Texas
Hobby: That's hard to say. We're hoping first of the year, 2002, but that question is not for me to answer right now. You'll have to ask the people who are managing the facility.
This question is for both coaches. How do you think your team will fair in the spring? Who should we as fans keep an eye on this spring?
Wendy Johnson, Houston, Texas
Hobby: I think we'll fare pretty well. Our main goal is to make the NCAA regionals, and we're on track to do that right now. Hopefully we'll win a couple more tournaments, but we've got to get a better performance out of a couple of our seniors, Worth Williams and Brandon Sanders. Historically, they seem to play better in the spring than in the fall.
Keep an eye on Jimmy Walker, he finished the fall very strong. He won one tournament in the fall and is a top-40 player right now. I think we should watch for great things from Jimmy, and from Adam Meyer, our true freshman. Adam played well at times this fall, and I think he'll play better this spring now that he has some experience under his belt.
Ferdon: The women's team is getting ready to compete in one of the hardest schedules assembled in our history. There is no "weak" tournament... and that includes the new "Baylor-Iowa-San Antonio Shoot-out Invitational" scheduled for March 26-27 at Pecan Valley Golf Course in San Antonio. The field includes Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Kent State, Missouri, Indiana, and Michigan, all top-50 ranked programs.
Our expectations are high for the spring. We have Melanie Hagewood with the lowest individual ranking (#51) ever for a Bear and with the lowest individual scoring average recorded in our history (76.5). At the 2000 West Regionals, Melanie shot 78-72-76 (226) to tie for 38th place. In doing so, she beat four outstanding players from the nationally-known Arizona State team. She continued the pace into the fall and finished her last tournament at the Price's-New Mexico State Inivtational in 2nd place with scores of 73-71-74 (218). Tara Bateman, a junior, and Michaelyn Morgan, a freshman, also had outstanding fall performances. Tara tied for fourth place at the prestigous McGuire-New Mexico Inivitational, shooting scores of 76-75-72 (223). Michaelyn tied for fourth in our Big 12 Fall Preview, with scores of 77-75-70 (222). I look for this nucleus to lead the way for Baylor to advance to the NCAA regionals for the second time in its history. I will add that our Central Region already has listed 10 Top 25 programs. more than either the East or West regions. Our expectations are also high because we are beginning to put some "W's" up competing against programs and individuals that the Bears had never beaten before. Those schools include Oklahoma State, New Mexico, UCLA, TCU, University of California and Washington.
My main response for having high expectations is the amount of work I have observed in our offseason. We've had three per week work-out sessions geared to golf-specific exercise. The team relayed to me a very positive response to the sequence of conditioning introduced. Also, I have never (in my seven years of coaching) seen the amount of additional rounds of golf played and requests for observations in working with swings and implementing necessary changes on a one-to-one basis. This indicates to me an inner desire and motivation that is necessary to maintain a consistency in remaining a Top 30 program in the country. I don't want national recognition to be just a one-month happening for our program. I want the Bears on the map forever more!