Men's Golf |
May 16, 2011
By Shawn Sell
The University of Cincinnati golf teams have a new home and by all accounts, it couldn't be a better situation for the Bearcats. Traditions Golf Club, one of Kentucky's top private courses, will now be the official home for the UC men's and women's golf programs.
For the past few years, the UC men's team, under the direction of head coach Doug Martin, has utilized Traditions for the majority of its practices, along with an annual home tournament. Now, the women's squad will also call Traditions home starting this year. According to UC Director of Golf and women's head coach Janet Carl, she and her team are looking forward to the new arrangement.
"We are really excited; they are opening their arms very much trying to include us," she says. "Hopefully, sooner or later, some UCAT or former Bearcat player will join (Traditions) and help the club because they don't have to support us. It's just really nice to see a club step up and say we want to be in an association with you."
The relationship between Traditions and UC started during Martin's playing days on the PGA Tour during the 1990's. The relationship expanded further when UC played host to the 2008 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship at the course. From there, the relationship continued to blossom between Martin and Traditions General Manager Byron Armbrister.
"I think actually it started with Doug who has been a member at the club for many years," Armbrister recalls. "Over the years, he had set up something with the club that the men's team could practice out here on occasion. In the past few years, that has grown into a little more activity where the first thing out here that he organized was the BIG EAST Championship and that turned out very well. From there, we split off into his Bearcat Invitational and we have had that two years. After that, Doug and I talked and we offered them a membership so they had a little bit more flexibility. Then, Janet brought her group in and we are representing golf for the men and women."
Since its opening in 1991, Traditions has consistently been recognized as one of the premier places to play in the Greater Cincinnati Area. For 18 of the 20 years the club has been open, it's been tabbed by Golf Digest as one of the top-10 courses in all of Kentucky. It's also been home to many prestigious amateur events such as the Kentucky Amateur, the Greater Cincinnati Golf Association Metro Championship, numerous USGA qualifiers and in 2012, the Kentucky Open. For Armbrister, that makes his club a natural fit for a pair of up and coming golf programs like the Bearcats.
"It's high-level for people that are passionate about golf; that's what we sell ourselves as," he says. "We are not a full blown country club; we are a private golf club. We cater to a passionate player; somebody who really wants a challenge and wants to improve their level (of play)."
In addition to the well-maintained and challenging course, Traditions has numerous other features that make it the ideal location for a college golf program to call home. Along with the 18-hole course, Traditions also houses two driving ranges, and unlike many clubs and courses in this region, an area for players to work specifically on their short games. To Martin and Carl both, those amenities make Traditions the perfect new place to call home.
"The shot value and shot qualities that Traditions presents give our guys a very diverse look and I think that is the key, it prepares us," Martin says. "It prepares us for going places and playing and does better in preparing us than the other places were preparing us."
"Originally, it was designed as a very top player golf course, especially for men," Carl adds. "They went back in a few years ago and added some forward tees. Truthfully, our girls only use two of those forward tees but from a preparation standpoint, its just one of the best golf clubs in the city. I feel that is just an advantage for us that the harder course we play all the time, the better off we are going to be when we go to other golf courses."
Traditions will also be the new home of many of the UC Department of Athletics golf outings. Stay tuned to GoBEARCATS.com for more information about these upcoming events.