The Thunderbirds Golf Complex – a New Home for Sun Devil Golf

TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Athletics unveiled its new state-of-the-art practice facility and the new home for Sun Devil Golf at Papago Golf Course on Thursday afternoon.

The Thunderbirds organization, who are committed to investing and growing the game of golf in Arizona, made a generous commitment to the new facility, which will be named The Thunderbirds Golf Complex.

“As an organization, making a direct impact within the golf community and cultivating interest in the game of golf is always our passion,” said Carlos Sugich, Thunderbirds Big Chief. “When we were presented the opportunity to contribute to Arizona State’s new golf facility and to Papago Golf Course, there was no question we wanted to play a part in this exciting moment for golf in the state of Arizona.”

The Thunderbirds Golf Complex, designed by Douglas Fredrickson Architects and built by Rummel Contruction Inc., is a 7,000-square foot facility featuring a grand entry lobby, national championship displays, a team gym and locker rooms for both men’s and women’s teams, a fueling station, study lounge, team lounge, indoor hitting bays and more.

“Seeing this project come to fruition is extremely exciting for Sun Devil Golf and the Arizona golf community,” said Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson. “This premier facility will allow our golf programs to build on their strong tradition of winning while training at one of the most impressive facilities in the country. It is evident so many intricate details were considered in order to create innovative practice areas and creatively maximize our footprint at this iconic setting.”

Designed by Sun Devil alumnus and five-time PGA Major Championships winner Phil Mickelson, who is known for his short-game expertise, the four-acre practice area consists of five practice greens, four practice bunkers and a three-acre fairway and rough designed to practice every possible golf shot.

The Thunderbirds Golf Complex, which spans across 12-acres, consists of:

  • Arizona State University team building with 7,000 square feet of interior space, including entry lobby, national championship displays, coaches’ offices, storage, men’s and women’s locker rooms, fitness/gym, fueling station, study/conference room, team lounge area, state-of-the-art indoor air-conditioned hitting bay and golf lab
  • One-acre area surrounding the Arizona State University team building, consisting of entry walkway and cart path, golf cart parking, arrival courtyard and surrounding desert landscaping
  • 3,000-square-foot covered outdoor team patio
  • 22,000-square-foot practice range tee
  • Six-acre range hitting area with 21 target greens and seven (7) fairway bunkers
  • 5,600 square feet of synthetic turf tee area, consisting of three types of hitting surfaces
  • Innovative synthetic turf “Phil Mickelson” practice putting pads, consisting of three (3) 15-foot by 15-foot square putting surfaces at 2%, 3% and 4% slope each
  • 10,000 square foot practice putting green, an innovative space designed for putting with dedicated areas of 1%, 2%, 3% and 4% slopes
  • Four-acre short game area, consisting of five (5) practice greens totaling 30,000 square feet, four (4) practice bunkers totaling 3,600 square feet and a three-acre fairway and rough area designed to practice every possible golf shot, while promoting team building and high-level competition
  • Innovative “Phil Mickelson” wedge control targets, consisting of eight (8) synthetic turf target providing distance control practice for every yardage from 30 yards to 145 yards

Papago Golf Course, which established a reputation for its scenic desert views, has a long-standing history with Sun Devil Golf as the course was the home of a number of standout local Sun Devil golf student-athletes, including Billy Mayfair, the late Heather Farr and current Sun Devil Women’s Golf Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye. The course also now features the new Lou Grubb Clubhouse and Lou’s Bar and Grill, as well as an entertainment pavilion.

The new home of Sun Devil Golf is made possible through ASU’s partnership with The Thunderbirds, Arizona Golf Community Foundation, the City of Phoenix and Phil Mickelson Design.

Sun Devil Women’s Head Golf Coach Missy Farr-Kaye on the new facility:

“We are so excited to be moving into our new home at Papago Golf Course. It is quite special for me to be coaching my alma mater back where I first learned to play golf with my sister Heather. The spectacular views of the Papago Buttes bring back such great memories playing golf here with my family. The training facility here has exceeded my expectations and I am confident my current team and future Sun Devils will enjoy practicing here to become the best college golfers in the world!”

Sun Devil Men’s Head Golf Coach Matt Thurmond on the new facility:

“This facility is the product of the generosity, creativity, vision and hard work of so many people. We all have big hopes and expectations for our golf programs in the coming decades and we all aspire to many championships. This incredible facility will attract the very best talent in the world for many reasons, such as providing the tools to help develop their skills more efficiently. Phil Mickelson Design and the coaches have thought of every possible shot and skill required to be a world-class player and put it into the ground and into the entire facility, creating a training environment unlike any in the world. This facility is the next piece to compliment Sun Devil Golf’s storied past, creating a surge of momentum for our golf programs into a very bright and sunny future.”

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