CSU Athletics Officially Opens Key Golf Studio

COLUMBUS, Ga. — With the cutting of the ceremonial red ribbon, the Key Golf Studio was officially opened for the Columbus State University men’s and women’s golf teams on Friday, Nov. 13.

“Today we are officially cutting the ribbon on one of the finest golf facilities at any level,” said CSU Director of Athletics Todd Reeser. “To be here today would not have been possible without a clear vision, a committed university and the generosity of many.”

Columbus State University's Key Golf Studio Ribbon Cutting

The Key Golf Studio sits on 13 acres of land along University Avenue and will be the new home of the CSU golf programs. The facility features a large putting surface, two short game areas and a full hitting range to help Columbus State student-athletes develop their game. Also included is the latest in golf technology providing everything needed to hone a player’s skills.

“This facility is out of this world,” said CSU Director of Golf Mark Immelman. “We are doing things that established elite Division I programs do.”

Namesake and longtime Columbus State supporter Billy Key hit the first official shot from the practice facility in front of CSU staff, student-athletes and supporters to wrap up the day’s ceremonies.

Key, now the retired president of First National Bank of Columbus, won the Georgia State Junior Championships in 1946, 1947 and 1948. In 1947 and 1948, he also won the Southern Interscholastic Championships. In 1948, he won the Georgia Interscholastic Championship. Other big early wins for Key include the Florida Intercollegiate Championship in 1951, the Western Amateur in 1958, the Southeastern Amateur in 1962 and the Georgia Amateur in 1968. As a senior, he won the American Seniors Best-Ball Championship five times. In 1989 and 1990, he won the Society of Seniors Individual Stroke Play Championship and, in 1990, Golf Digest ranked him as the No. 2 senior golfer in the U.S.

The Key Golf Studio also features a clubhouse which includes offices, locker rooms and study areas for the two programs.

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University Officials Break Ground for new Columbus State Golf Studio

Golf StudioCOLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University will break ground Monday on its new golf studio on University Avenue that will be named for Billy Key, a former local amateur golf champion, CSU Foundation trustee and longtime supporter of the men’s golf program and Cougar athletics.

Former Masters champion Larry Mize is expected to join Key and university officials for the event at 8:30 a.m. at 3434 University Ave. The public is invited. (Shuttles will transport groundbreaking attendees from parking at CSU’s nearby Center for International Education, north of the intramural field on University Avenue.)

Columbus State’s Key Golf Studio is being built on 13 acres of land and an adjacent lot formerly housing the Boutwell Chiropractic Clinic. The project is being developed in phases, entirely with private funds, with the goal of a becoming a facility that attracts and trains some of the best collegiate golfers in the country. It will be home to CSU’s men’s and women’s golf teams, and it’s where instructors will teach CSU student golf classes.

“This is an exciting addition to Columbus State University and our athletic program,” said university President Tim Mescon. “Our golf programs have a record of national pre-eminence, and this new facility will add to that reputation. We are honored by the caliber of people who are already involved in this project.”

Columbus native and 1987 Masters Champion Larry Mize is helping design the studio. In addition to his own interest in the project, his involvement is spurred by the fact that his son, Robert Mize, is currently a leading member of CSU’s golf team, who will be able to use the facility in the future. Robert Mize played in all 12 events for the Cougars in his freshman season last year and won first-place individual honors in this season’s first two golf tournaments.

Also providing input will be Key, a financial backer of the project and a Georgia Golf Hall of Fame member

Key, now the retired president of First National Bank of Columbus, won the Georgia State Junior Championships in 1946, 1947 and 1948. In 1947 and 1948, he also won the Southern Interscholastic Championships. And in 1948, he won the Georgia Interscholastic Championship. Other big early wins for Key include the Florida Intercollegiate Championship in 1951, the Western Amateur in 1958, the Southeastern Amateur in 1962 and the Georgia Amateur in 1968. As a senior, he won the American Seniors Best-Ball Championship five times. In 1989 and 1990, he won the Society of Seniors Individual Stroke Play Championship and, in 1990, Golf Digest ranked him as the No. 2 senior golfer in the U.S.

“Golf has been really good to me,” Key said. “I have met a lot of interesting people, and it opened a lot of doors for me in the business world. I would be delighted if a project like this could help do the same for other young golfers.”

Mescon said Key’s involvement has been critical to moving the golf studio project forward.

“Mr. Key has been a good friend to Cougar athletics — and our golf programs in particular — for many years,” said Mark Immelman, head coach of CSU’s men’s golf team. “We are so thankful for his support of this project and delighted he is allowing us to name this facility in his honor.”

The Key Golf Studio will include a clubhouse and offices, a driving range, putting and short-game areas. Coaches hope to start using it in fall 2014.

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CSU’s Immelman Named National Division II Coach of the Year

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State’s Mark Immelman has been named the Division II Eaton Golf Pride National Coach of the Year by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Immelman, who is in his eighth year at the helm of the CSU men’s golf program, guided the team to a third place finish at the NCAA National Championship last week in Blaine, Washington. more >>

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CSU Honors Pair of Golf Program Supporters

COLUMBUS, Ga. – A former coach and a longtime booster of Columbus State University’s golf program will be honored at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, when two new facilities are dedicated at Bull Creek Golf Course.

The Richard M. Olnick Golf Studio and the Hugh Royer Jr. Hitting Bay will serve as practice and learning facilities for CSU’s golf team.

The hitting bay is made possible through a gift from friends of the university.

‘Something like this has been our goal for a long time. Now it is a reality,’ said CSU golf coach Mark Immelman. ‘These facilities help underpin our commitment to being leaders on the course and in the classroom and will serve as benchmarks for the future.’

Royer, a 1989 Georgia Golf Hall of Fame inductee, won the Georgia State Amateur and Southern Amateur tournaments before turning professional in 1959. In his first pro event, he won the St. Charles Open and went on to capture the 1970 Western Open, one of the most prestigious non-major tournaments in men’s professional golf. He also won the 1963 and 1964 Georgia PGA championships, the Georgia Open and the Georgia Senior Open.

After competing on the PGA tour, Royer served as a coach for Columbus State’s golf program and helped guide the Cougars to five NCAA Division II titles between 1978 and 1994.

He also served as head golf professional at Bull Creek Golf Club and as president of the Georgia PGA.

Richard Olnick had a lifelong passion for golf and for the CSU program, which has won six national golf titles overall. ‘He loved the game and was a huge supporter of CSU and my career,’ said Immelman. ‘Richard wanted to see us succeed. He wanted the very best for CSU and the golf program. Both of these new facilities will certainly help accomplish that goal.’

‘We’re grateful for the commitment of both of these men,’ Immelman said. ‘Their lives, their gifts and their time have left a legacy that has made the university a much better place. They have helped establish a new foundation upon which we will be able to establish a golf program that is second to none.’

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CSU Golfers Win 16-Team Florida Tournament

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Columbus State survived windy, cold conditions here Tuesday to hold off a charge from West Florida and win the Outback Steakhouse Intercollegiate at the Hombre Golf Club.

CSU fired a final-round 302 to finish at 595, while the Argonauts were the only team to break 300 at 292, finishing four shots back.

St. Edwards (Texas) finished third at 607, UNC Pembroke fourth at 614 and Wingate fifth at 623 in the 16-team field. The event was contested on the 6,457-yard Hombre Golf Club, a par-71 layout.

Jeff Howard of St. Edwards took medalist honors, winning in a playoff with West Florida’s Brian Lawrence. Howard fired rounds of 69-76, while Lawrence carded rounds of 75-70. Lawrence won on the first playoff hole with a par.

Evan Scanlan and Christian Ries of CSU tied for third at 146. Scanlan followed Monday’s 71 with a 75, while Ries had rounds of 72-74. Wesley Ker-Fox shot 74 on Tuesday to finish at 151, tied for ninth. Andrew Georgiou and Brandon Kuban each fired a 79, with Georgiou finishing tied for 12th. CSU will next be in action on February 27-28 at the AASU Pirate Invitational in Savannah, where the Cougars are defending champions.

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CSU Places in Florida Golf Invitational

ORLANDO, Fla. — Columbus State fired a final-round team total of 295 here Tuesday, finishing third in the Coker College Invitational.

Florida Southern followed Monday’s 277 with a solid 283 on Tuesday to win the event with a score of 560 (-16). West Florida fired a 280 to jump over CSU and finish second, four shots off the pace. CSU and Rollins finished in a third place tie at 574 (-2). St. Edwards was fifth at 577.

Florida Southern’s Greg Koch fired his second straight 67 to win medalist honors. Brandon Kuban followed Monday’s 67 with a 72 on Tuesday to finish tied for fourth overall. Christian Ries shot 71 to finish at 141, tied for 11th. Kyle Albright and Evan Scanlan each shot 76 in the final round and tied for 39th, while Andrew Georgiou carded a second straight 76 to finish tied for 62nd.

CSU now turns its attention to its own event, the Aflac/Cougar Invitational set to begin Monday morning at the Country Club of Columbus. The 18-team field features seven squads that finished in the nation’s top 20 last season, including two-time defending national champion USC Aiken.

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