Baylor Dedicates the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse

  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Ribbon Cutting
    Elaine Williams and Baylor Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades (center) gathered with members of the Williams family, Baylor golf coaches Jay Goble and Mike McGraw and members of the men's and women's golf teams for a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Name Front
    The Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse is the newest addition to Baylor's athletic facilities that provides the latest advances in training and support for Baylor golf student-athletes while preparing them as Champions for Life. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Name Terrace
    In addition to the latest technology and training facilities for Baylor's men's and women's golf teams, the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse also features two beautiful outdoor terraces and a large multi-functional second floor patio. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Mike McGraw
    Mike McGraw, head coach of Baylor's men's golf team, spoke at the dedication ceremony for the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse that provides the latest advances in training and support for Baylor golf student-athletes while preparing them as Champions for Life. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Mack Rhoades
    Mack B. Rhoades IV, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics at Baylor, spoke at the dedication ceremony for the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse that provides the latest advances in training and support for Baylor golf student-athletes while preparing them as Champions for Life. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Indoor Hitting Bays
    Baylor University's new Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse features two indoor hitting bays with advanced technology cameras and video recording equipment to analyze swing mechanics, and an indoor putting lab. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Indoor Hitting Bays2
    Baylor University's new Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse features two indoor hitting bays with advanced technology cameras and video recording equipment to analyze swing mechanics, and an indoor putting lab. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Williams Golf Practice Facility Lockers
    The Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse, the newest addition to Baylor's athletic facilities that provides the latest advances in training and support for Baylor golf student-athletes, includes locker rooms with pro-style lockers for each member of the men's and women's golf teams. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University_
Nov. 9, 2018

New advanced facility for Baylor’s championship men’s and women’s golf teams includes an on-site practice course, driving ranges, clubhouse

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
Follow Lori on Twitter at @LoriBaylorU
Follow Baylor Media and Public Relations on Twitter: BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Nov. 9, 2018) – A week after launching Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, the institution’s $1.1 billion comprehensive philanthropic campaign, Baylor University today dedicated the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse, the newest addition to the University’s athletic facilities, which provides the latest advances in training and support for Baylor golf student-athletes while preparing them as Champions for Life.

The Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse is located on a 16.5-acre site on University Parks Drive next to the Willis Family Equestrian Center and includes an on-site practice course, driving ranges and a 7,975-square-foot clubhouse for Baylor’s nationally recognized men’s and women’s golf teams.

The golf practice facility was made possible by a lead gift announced in October 2015 from Billy W. Williams, B.B.A. ’63, and the Williams family of Hinsdale, Illinois, who provided the multimillion dollar gift for the project. Billy W. Williams, a former football letterwinner, successful businessman and generous benefactor of the University and its students, died Dec. 14, 2015, at the age of 74. His wife, Elaine, their three children and extended family members attended the ceremony to dedicate the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse and honor Williams’ memory.

“Along with the recent launch of the University’s Give Light campaign, we gratefully celebrate the generosity of Billy and Elaine Williams through the dedication of the new clubhouse bearing their name,” said Mack B. Rhoades IV, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics at Baylor. “Billy and Elaine truly understood what it means to Prepare Champions for Life. In the earliest stages of the campaign, they unreservedly answered our call for support, and their generosity propelled us forward. We are grateful for Billy’s legacy and honor his memory today, and we give thanks for Elaine and the Williams family’s continued support.”

In 2013, Billy and Elaine Williams also provided the lead gift for the Williams Family Soccer Center, which opened in fall 2015 and houses Baylor’s championship soccer program.

Designed by rbdr PLLC and constructed by Mazanec Construction, the Billy W. Williams Golf Practice Facility and Clubhouse includes:

  • Outdoor training space complete with driving ranges, four tee boxes, two putting greens, chipping area and simulated holes.
  • Two indoor hitting bays with advanced technology cameras and video recording equipment to analyze swing mechanics, and an indoor putting lab.
  • Workout room, locker rooms with pro-style lockers for each player and lounges for the men’s and women’s varsity golf teams.
  • Offices for the coaching staff, each with views of the entire practice site, and separate locker rooms for coaches.
  • Conference room for team meetings and hospitality for prospective recruits and families.
  • Two beautiful outdoor terraces and a large multi-functional second floor patio.

This on-campus site will provide student-athletes easy access to other services that will improve performance and assist with academic success, such as weight rooms, training rooms and academic tutoring in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center.

“We are completely humbled by the generosity of our supporters and by their dedication to our program,” said Jay Goble, head coach of Baylor’s women’s golf team. “When Coach McGraw and Billy Williams first spoke about this dream, little did any of us know it would one day turn out this fantastic. Our team is incredibly blessed to have this facility, and our future teams will benefit from this resource. We are so proud to show this to our players, our recruits and our Baylor Family.”

“Our student-athletes are at a major advantage,” said Mike McGraw, head coach of Baylor’s men’s golf team. “We know we’re blessed, and we know we have something that takes a back seat to no other facility in collegiate athletics. We are grateful for the Baylor Family members who have stepped forward to support this project and make this dream a reality. I am grateful for the Williams family, especially. Billy, when he was alive, shook my hand and told me he wanted to partner with us in this project to meet the needs of our students, and it is incredibly rewarding to see his vision realized, and I hope his family feels that we have honored his legacy through this.”

The facilities, planning and construction team included Baylor graduates Chet Williams, a golf course architect, and Joe Todaro, director of athletics turf management. Williams has worked with Jack Nicklaus on several projects and designed the No. 1 course in Texas, Whispering Pines, which has hosted the Big 12 Championships.

Billy W. Williams lettered in football in 1962 on a John Bridgers-coached team that included star quarterback Don Trull, who was Williams’ roommate. After graduating with a degree in finance, Williams joined the First National Bank of Fort Worth’s executive training program and earned an M.B.A. from TCU in 1965. He went on to a 26-year career at Owens Corning, working his way up from field salesman to executive vice president for the building materials division at the company’s headquarters in Toledo, Ohio.

In 1991, Williams and two associates purchased Liquid Container, a packaging company in Chicago. As its president for 19 years, he oversaw the company’s expansion from a regional manufacturer to a national presence in the plastics packaging industry before selling the company in 2011. He and his wife maintained homes in Hinsdale, Illinois, and Naples, Florida.

In 2012, Williams was named by the Baylor “B” Association to its Wall of Honor, which recognizes Baylor letterwinners and graduates whose meritorious accomplishments in public or private life following graduation have brought positive public recognition, credit and honor to Baylor and its athletic department.

The generosity of Billy and Elaine Williams also extends to students, as they established two endowed scholarships at Baylor, The A.J. and Marie Williams Endowed Athletic Scholarship Fund in Football and The Bill and Elaine Williams Family Endowed Athletic Scholarship Fund, and were generous supporters of the Beauchamp Athletics Nutrition Center, the Baylor “B” Association and the Baylor Bear Foundation.

On Nov. 1, Baylor University officially launched Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, during a celebration on campus. Give Light undergirds Baylor’s academic strategic plan Illuminate and will impact every aspect of campus life – from academics and athletics to student life and service learning – while bolstering financial support for students, faculty and the campus community.

Preparing Champions for Life is a mission call heard frequently throughout Baylor Athletics since 2016, and during the past two years, the phrase-turned-mandate has burgeoned into a detailed plan to invest in student-athletes in ways to build character and prepare them for life after competition.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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