MARTIN, Tenn. – Several friends and alumni of The University of Tennessee at Martin golf program gathered last night for a fundraiser dinner at the new Rhodes Golf Center.
Around 100 people took in the sights of the new Rhodes Golf Center and enjoyed fellowship with the Skyhawk golf team, coaching staff and athletic director Phil Dane. The event capped off a month-long fundraising effort to complete the inside of the Rhodes Golf Center.
“We had a tremendous response,” UT Martin head coach Jerry Carpenter said. “We had several good speakers and last night was a good chance for people to come back to campus and see what we are doing.”
Fans had the chance to see the outside portion of the Rhodes Center, which is fully completed. This part includes a 6,000 square foot putting and chipping green with a Tif-Eagle Bermuda grass surface, an 8,000 square foot tee box; a 1,600 square foot elevated tee box with Meyer and Palisades zoysia grass; an auxiliary tee box next to a 4,500 square foot putting green with Mini-Verde Bermuda grass; mini target greens with flags at 50-, 75-, 100-, 150-, 200- and 250-yards; two sand bunkers (spanning 1,200 square feet and a 400 square feet) and a state-of-the-art programmable irrigation system.
Inside the new building, the crowd heard remarks from Carpenter, Dane, Dr. Wes Totten from the UT Martin Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources, current Skyhawk golfers Brendon Caballero and Ben Reeves, as well as Bill Rhodes, the 1987 UT Martin golf alum for whom the building is named after.
The Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AutoZone, Inc., Rhodes was an honorable mention All-American and an academic All-American at UT Martin under head coach Grover Page, who was also in attendance last night. Rhodes and his wife Amy, a 1991 UT Martin alum, have been instrumental throughout the entire process.
The Rhodes Center building, which already features covered and climate-controlled hitting bays for indoor practice during cold weather, will also feature complete camera equipment for video and swing analysis, a 600 square foot true putting green, a student lounge for golfers, office space, a kitchenette and restrooms in the future.
The Skyhawk golf team recently completed a successful season, winning three tournaments in the span of a month to begin the spring. Caballero became UT Martin’s first All-Ohio Valley Conference golfer since 1999, while Reeves earned the program’s first-ever OVC Freshman of the Year award.