Golfers at the University of Michigan will soon have a new addition to their Weisfeld Family Golf Center, as Chris Wilczynski, ASGCA, has designed a new short-game practice area.

University of Michigan Golf Courses director Corbin Todd announced Wilczynski and Mike DeVries have begun construction on the Cilluffo Family Short Game Practice Area — a five-acre short game area that will help hone the games of some of the nation’s best collegiate players.

The complex, which will cost $300,000 and be ready for use in the fall of 2019, will be located at the northwest corner of the driving range of the Weisfeld Family Golf Center.

It will feature two large greens, several bunkers and subtly undulating fairway and rough areas that will allow the members of the U-M men’s and women’s golf teams to practice every aspect of the critical short game.

“It’s an exciting summer for the future of our golf teams,” said U-M head women’s coach Jan Dowling. “The design and implementation of the Cilluffo Family Short Game Practice Area is a culmination of hard work from our support staff, the Cilluffo family, our coaching staff and architects Chris Wilczynski and Mike DeVries.
“With some great design suggestions, the space has become more efficient and effective for our student-athletes to train. It’s designed with every shot inside 120 yards in mind, and we have added more usable putting space with two putting greens totaling over 20,000 square feet.”

“It has been exciting working with the University’s coaches and determining what they are looking for in such a facility,” said Wilczynski. “It is much more detailed than at a club or public facility. We have imagined and captured every type of shot that you will encounter from the edge of the green up to 120 yards away. The demands of collegiate golfers are very different than those of recreational players.”

The new short game area will give golfers the opportunity to practice uphill, downhill and side-hill pitch and chip shots as well as shots from varying-depth bunkers. One green will be a concave punchbowl and the other will be a crowned convex green. The greens also will be used for practice putting.

“I have enjoyed working with Chris, the golf coaches and management of the golf courses in finding what is the best opportunity to maximize the area for what they need in a practice facility,” said DeVries. “This is a challenging project, however, it is a generously sized area and will be a great asset to our players when completed.”

“The process of developing this facility has been a collaborative effort between the University, the coaches and our design and construction experts,” said Todd. “We will create a great facility in the spirit of what is best for the Michigan golf teams.”

Construction, which began in mid-May with an expected completion in July, is being directed by Wilczynski, DeVries and Joe Hancock, who provides expertise in golf course shaping and construction management.

“We have a wonderful combination of practice areas with the Weisfeld Family Golf Center, the new Cilluffo Family Short Game Practice Area and the U-M Golf Course within steps of our campus,” added Dowling. “Our teams are grateful for the generous financial support from our great alumni to open such doors for our team to have first class training facilities year round.”