Marygrove College opens Tom Doak-designed golf practice facility

Golf architect Tom Doak has designed four of the world's 100 top golf courses, according to Golf Magazine. He's now left his mark on Detroit, in the form of a pro bono golf practice facility crafted by Doak for the Midnight Golf Program and students at Marygrove College.

The Midnight Golf Program is a 30-week course for high school students that teaches life essentials like financial literacy and community activism alongside the rules and customs of golf.

"The organization does amazing work with youth around their own development, life skills, life lessons and choices and college preparedness, and it's all built around the game of golf," says Marygrove President Dr. David Fike, who partnered with the Midnight Golf Program several years ago and hosts the students on the university campus. "They utilize the game of golf in emphasizing successful life choices, integrity and discipline."

Those students will now have the chance to study chipping and putting in the new facility, which includes a large sand bunker, a four-hole short course, two practice tee areas with 26 hitting bays and a putting green. It's located near the soccer fields just to the left of the college's main entrance off McNichols. It will also be the home practice facility for Marygrove's new intercollegiate golf program. "Tom Doak says you can practice any shot with the exception of a long tee with the space that we've designed here," he says.

Dr. Fike says the facility was also built with a commitment to environmental sustainability, inspired by the influence of the sisters and servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who founded and continue to guide the university. The college worked with Renaissance Golf to build the facility without altering the topography of the land. The golf facility uses 100 percent organic seaweed fertilizer donated by Ocean Organics and is committed to using as little water as possible, thanks to a low irrigation grass seed mixture designed by Tom Mead.

"It's serving inner-city youth with a game that doesn't typically provide opportunities for inner-city youth," Dr. Fike says. "And we're doing it using a compact urban land use. The game is generally suburban and rural, and needs sprawling space. That not only makes it inaccessible to inner-city youth, but it also presents some environmental issues."

Golf aficionados, good news -- Dr. Fike says there are long-term plans to make Marygrove's new golf practice facility open to the public.

Source: Dr. David Fike, President, Marygrove College
Writer: Ashley C. Woods
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