Gray Family Golf Simulator Changes Game for VU Golf
When Jeff Anderson joined Vanguard Athletics as its first-ever golf coach in 2018, he had big goals for the program. Growing enrollment by recruiting student athletes, cultivating Spirit-empowered leaders who excelled on and off the course, giving a sense of purpose to each student-athlete who joined the team, and building a nationally-recognized program were all amongst Coach Anderson’s goals. In the past four years, he’s been well on his way to accomplishing each one. Especially thanks to a recent addition to the program.
As with all sports, one of the many keys to success is practice. Unpredictable weather, difficulty getting transportation, busy courses, and course fees have been barriers to prevent the Vanguard Golf team from getting the most out of their practices. Plus, access to advances in virtual technology have previously given other teams an advantage over the Lions. Thanks to the generosity of the Gray Family and other donors, Vanguard University is now home to the Gray Family Golf Studio, a two-bay virtual golf simulator that allows student-athletes to practice without leaving the campus.
“To put it simply, this is an absolute game changer for Vanguard Golf,” said Coach Anderson. “Not only do the students get to spend time honing their swinging skills, but they also get a sense of what it feels like to be up against the best-of-the-best when we’re in ‘tournament’ mode.”
For Junior Brooklyn Motske, the studio, located inside the Seymour Building, is a new source of pride on campus for her.
“I am extremely thankful for our new golf studio on campus and am excited for the impact it will have on our team,” said Motske. “It is amazing to see how far our program has come in such a short amount of time, and how we will be able to continue to grow with this new addition. I am honored to be part of this program.”
This new studio will dramatically influence how players are trained and will be used during every practice, according to Anderson. Beyond that, he believes the Gray Family Golf Studio has increased student-athletes’ senses of value, since investment is being made into their sport–and ultimately, them.
“Student-athletes can see that the Vanguard community cares about them enough to make these kinds of investments,” said Coach Anderson. “It improves their overall student experience, and I know it will help us when we’re recruiting because players know how much they’ll improve with access to the simulator. The Gray Family Golf Studio is a blessing to Vanguard. It’s making us better.”