With the Masters drama building and the countdown to the 2013 U.S. Open
at Merion Golf Club’s East Course at 61 days (since today is April 13 and the
Open tees off June 13, I think you can get away with saying it’s two months
away), a nice little golf story out of Eastern University in Radnor Township.
Dan Mouw, the
sports information director at Eastern (and women ‘s soccer coach because
sometimes at a small university you have to wear more than one hat), reported that
the Danny Hearing Golf Facility was officially dedicated this week.
The room in Gough
Hall will serve as the year-round nerve center for the men’s and women’s golf programs
includes two hitting bays, a putting surface with surrounding turf for chipping
and lockers at which team members can store their sticks and gear. The room
will allow Eastern golfers to work on their games all year round. Considering
winter lasted until last weekend around these parts, that’s no small thing.
Each hitting bay is
equipped with a Foresight GC2 Simulator, a sophisticated camera and computer
system that gives players feedback on their swings. The simulator is able to
evaluate ball spin, speed, and trajectory and is the type of technology you can
find in the corporate and VIP fitting studios of major club manufacturers like
Cobra/Puma, Cleveland Golf, Adams Golf and Fujikura as well as the research and
developments labs of TaylorMade and Ping.
Ryan Torrison demonstrated the power of the simulators with several shots. When
players are working in the hitting bays, other players can work on chipping and
putting on the multi-tiered putting surface. The surface rolls at 10.5 on a
Brad Fields, director of athletics at Eastern,
also announced that nearby St. Davids Golf Club has agreed to be the official home
course for Eastern golf. Finding a home course has been a priority for Fields
since he arrived at Eastern. Dave Jones, the associate athletic director at
Eastern, did a lot of the detail work in making the Danny Hearing Indoor Golf
Facility a reality.
Fields sees the
room, which was funded entirely by private donations, as the kind of facility
that can be a centerpiece for recruiting the kind of players who can take
Eastern golf to the next level in the region and even nationally.
Maybe the coolest
part of the whole story is the facility’s namesake, Danny Hearing.
Hearing was trained
as an electrician, served in the U.S. Navy and spent his life in heavy industry
and commercial plant operations. Not exactly a country-club guy.
He and his wife
Charlene had two sons and were youth sponsors and mentors to countless teens in
hunting, fishing and a day on the golf course with his children and
grandchildren. When asked how a round of golf went, his reply always included
the phrase “needs practice” because that meant it wouldn’t be long before he
was back enjoying another day on the links.
Hearing had no
direct connection with Eastern, but one of his children does and decided it
would be a worthwhile tribute to Hearing to provide funding for a facility that would make a positive impact
on the men and women who tee it up for the Eagles. After all, even a good
golfer, “needs practice.”
Hearing died in
June 2011, but his sprit will live on in the Indoor Golf Facility at Eastern
that bears his name. Which just shows you, you don’t have to be a pro or even a
great golfer to give back to the game.