The Paul Wahlberg '50 Aggie Golf Learning Center opened in December of 2003 and is the new home of A&M's men's and women's golf teams located at Traditions Club in West Bryan.
The 4,200-square foot facility and surrounding grounds were made possible through the generosity of Paul Wahlberg, a member of A&M's Class of '50. For over four decades he has been a volunteer for the Houston Golf Association, with most of that tenure spent as the chairman of HGA's Charity Selection Committee. An honorary member of the HGA Board of Governors, Wahlberg has been a longtime supporter of the Aggie golf programs.
The two-story Golf Learning Center includes locker rooms for both the men's and women's teams, two players' lounges, coaches' offices, a kitchenette, study carrels, computer stations, two indoor hitting bays with state-of-the-art swing analyzer computer equipment, a short game area, private driving range, four covered hitting bays and more.
One of the first things that catches the eye is the attention paid to detail. The building has the look and feel of a true golf course clubhouse. From tile work in the restrooms, to wallpaper in the locker rooms, to nice leather furniture in the lounges, to ironwork on the stairway, to sconces that light the walls and hallways--it is truly a first-class facility.-->
Just outside the front of the building is the short-game area of the learning center. It includes two Bermuda greens and one bent-grass green to work on things like chipping and putting.
Directly behind the center is the private driving range, where players can literally hit a ball off the patio of the building and down the fairway. The range has bunkers set off to the side so athletes can work on fairway bunker shots.
Just by stepping in the front doors of the facility, it's easy to see the high attention paid to detail.
The main entrance to the center opens into a lobby with a high ceiling and a staircase in the center. Off to either side in the lobby are offices for the head and assistant coaches of both teams. Walking around the staircase brings you to one of the players' lounges, which includes leather furniture and a big-screen TV. Walking directly through the lounge leads outside to a covered patio, which opens right onto the driving range.
"It's a place the players can get better and work on every phase of their game," men's golf coach J.T. Higgins said. "They can call this home, because it's for them. It's a great recruiting tool. We couldn't ask for anything else."
Each side of the building's first floor contains two outdoor covered hitting bays, an indoor hitting bay with state-of-the-art computer equipment, and a locker room. The locker rooms include spacious wooden lockers along with restroom and shower facilities, and are decorated with high-quality carpet, wallpaper and tile work.
The second floor of the facility contains another players' lounge, which opens onto a balcony that overlooks the driving range. Study carrels, which will include six computer terminals, and a storage area comprise the rest of the second level.
The two indoor hitting bays are equipped with the best in golf swing analyzer technology. A camera is mounted on each of the three walls and is tied into a computer system that allows golfers to completely break down their swings and compare them to "model" swings of professional athletes, also loaded into the computer. When finished looking at their swings, the athletes can even e-mail a video of their swing to their individual golf professional back home for further analysis.
The fourth wall is built like a garage door and opens directly onto the driving range. With the four outside bays, the Aggies have six stations with which to utilize the driving range in inclement weather.
The Golf Learning Center will truly be a home for A&M's golfers, who will be able to work on every phase of their game, meet with coaches, study, socialize with teammates and relax all in one place.
Being directly tied into the Traditions Club, a Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II designed 18- hole championship golf course that promises to be one of the finest in Texas, is just another added bonus for the Aggie golf teams.